The Driver Academy Group, a consortium led by HGV training specialist HGVC, and comprising workforce solutions group Manpower and trade body Logistics UK, has won the lead role on a government scheme to train and place 11,000 HGV drivers across England. The Group was formed to offer support in the upskilling and supply of candidates to a sector facing a shortfall of nearly 100,000 drivers.
The Driver Academy Group will train and place 2,160 candidates into HGV driving roles as part of the Government’s ‘Skills Bootcamps’. The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. The Department for Education funding addresses one of the major barriers to entry for aspiring HGV drivers: cost.
HGVC will oversee the training of 750 new drivers in England. Logistics UK will provide drivers with soft skills training. Workforce solutions group Manpower will support qualified drivers in their search for suitable roles in the industry.
The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving 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, become HGV drivers. Those finding themselves unemployed, or ex-offenders, are also encouraged to apply to become a driver.
“Funding is a major barrier to entry for those looking to become HGV drivers so this new funding from the Department for Education will make an impact,” suggested James Clifford, CEO of HGVC. “By providing these courses, we are training-up the new drivers that the UK needs to ensure the economy keeps growing while helping existing drivers into more critical and higher-paid roles.
“It’s well known the UK is facing a shortage of HGV drivers, and without action the movement of goods will be severely affected,” added Jason Greaves, Manpower Brand Leader UK. “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 UK having difficulty filling jobs.”
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.
Companies looking to upskill existing drivers can also apply for government funding of 70% of the scheme’s cost.
The Skills Bootcamps are part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life. The scheme is funded by the Department for Education, which completed a competitive tender process to appoint training providers.