Hundreds of aspiring HGV drivers in the South West can now apply for a scheme to help them train and get a job as an HGV driver, fully funded by the Department for Education.Â
The Driver Academy Group, a consortium led by HGV training specialist HGVC and comprising Manpower and Logistics UK, is offering hundreds of places across the region. Â
The training courses are available at dozens of locations across the South West. Qualified drivers could secure starting salaries of up to Â£40,000, or more for those driving dangerous goods.Â
The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving are live and are open to anyone with a car license aged 19 and over. The Driver Academy Group is particularly keen on helping underrepresented groups, such as women, those from ethnic minorities, and younger drivers, to become HGV drivers.Â
Those finding themselves unemployed, or ex-offenders, are also encouraged to apply to become a driver. Candidates can apply at www.hgv.academy
The Driver Academy Group will train and place 2,160 candidates into HGV driving roles as part of the scheme across England.Â
James Clifford, CEO of HGVC, said: â€œThis is a huge opportunity for aspiring HGV drivers in the South West. Funding is a major barrier to entry for those looking to train as HGV drivers so this new funding from the Department for Education will make a big difference to get more people into the industry.Â
â€œBusinesses across the South West need more drivers, and this scheme will make a notable impact on the local economy. We will help get people into work while supporting existing drivers to achieve more critical and higher-paid roles. Our partnership with Manpower Group and Logistics UK means weâ€™re confident we can get people into great HGV jobs at the end of the scheme.â€Â
David Jordan, Deputy Operations Director â€“ Services at Logistics UK, said: â€œThe severe shortage of HGV drivers has had a significant impact on our industry over the past year. Â Logistics UK is proud to be part of the consortium charged with providing a solution to the issue and we look forward to adding our support and expertise to the Skills Bootcamps, alongside the experts at HGVC and Manpower, so that we can identify and train the workforce which our industry needs to keep Britain trading effectively.â€Â
Jason Greaves, Manpower Brand Leader UK, said: â€œItâ€™s well known that the UK is facing a shortage of HGV drivers, and without action the movement of goods will be severely affected. Logistics is currently the most in demand sector and the UK talent shortage is currently at a 15-year-high, with 77% of employers in the United Kingdom having difficulty filling jobs.Â
â€œIn 2019 we took steps to offer additional support to candidates going through HGV training and help prepare them for their driving career by forming the Driver Academy with HGVC. Since only 1% of the sector are female, we also want to expand the talent pool to be more inclusive via our Women In Driving development pathway and other initiatives. We are delighted to be working in partnership with HGVC and Logistics UK to reinforce the message that we are here to support the drivers and the industry as a whole.â€Â
The Government-funded training is provided via nine pathways. Courses range from novice drivers looking to gain their HGV licence, to refresher courses and upgrades for current licence holders.Â
Companies looking to upskill existing drivers can also apply for Government funding of 70% of the schemeâ€™s cost.Â
Consortium partners Logistics UK, the UKâ€™s largest logistics trade body, will provide drivers with soft skills training; and workforce solutions group Manpower will support drivers in securing suitable roles within the industry.
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