In December 2021, Driver Academy Group (DAG) launched government-funded HGV Skills Bootcamps, as part of a scheme designed to increase the number of trained HGV drivers in England. This has once again been extended, going live on 1 April 2023.
DAG, a consortium led by HGV training specialist HGVC, has been awarded the lead role in the extension of the scheme by the Department for Education (DfE). The group will train and place a further 2,160 candidates into HGV driving jobs over the next 12 months.
The scheme is designed to help remove training costs as a barrier to entry for people in England taking jobs as HGV drivers or gaining new skills. The goal of this is to boost the workforce in the industry and reduce the disruption to supply chains caused by shortages of HGV drivers.
DAG will deliver 1,300 partially funded courses which offer employers access to a 70% contribution towards the cost of the training from the DfE funding. The courses are flexible and last up to 16 weeks, open to any individual holding a driver’s license for over three years or businesses looking to upskill their existing staff.
HGVC’s Chief Executive James Clifford said: “We’re immensely proud to have been re-appointed on this hugely significant scheme. This is a major acknowledgement of our success and the positive impact that the Skills Bootcamps have had to date in getting new HGV drivers behind the wheel.
“Yet, while the immediate short-term driver shortage has abated, the long-term chronic shortage persists. As we’ve seen, thousands of people in the UK want to become lorry drivers. With further funding, we’re confident we can train even more people in the UK, close the longer-term shortfall of drivers and keep Britain moving.
“Fully qualified drivers coming through the existing scheme are ready to go straight into roles. What’s more, for employers re-considering training budgets, this is a huge opportunity to secure 70% of the funding to train new drivers or existing staff.
“While the economy continues to face some major challenges, this scheme really is a lifeline for the UK’s logistics industry.”
As reported in Logistics Manager in October 2022, over 600 new drivers have gained their HGV license from these courses since they launched in 2021. Additionally, over 457 existing HGV drivers have gained new skills.
Furthermore, 535 drivers who completed a course are now in jobs and a further 400 have secured interviews.