Friday, October 29, 2021

Initiative to Take on Apprentices to Fill the Many Vacant HGV Driver Places

Courses Now Offered Countrywide
Shipping News Feature

UK – A new apprenticeship from training provider Seetec Outsource is aimed at easing the shortage of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) drivers across the UK by making the profession more attractive to a new generation of drivers. The scheme is open to those of 18 years or older who hold a Category B (car) driving licence.

An estimated 268,000 people were employed as HGV drivers between July 2020 and June 2021. This is 39,000 fewer than in the previous year and a staggering 53,000 fewer than the peak for HGV driver employment four years ago. The Urban Driver Apprenticeship focuses on short-haul journeys in towns and cities that often do not require overnight routes and it is hoped this will attract potential candidates who may have steered away from traditional HGV work patterns in the past.

Hockley, Essex headquartered Seetec Outsource claims the apprenticeship will provide drivers with the opportunity to gain an LGV Class 2 licence for vehicles weighing between 3.5 and 32 tonnes in as little as four to six months. The course to gain its HGV driver qualification for Category C+CE licences (Class 1) can be a 15 month course. Martin Sheppard, Quality Lead and Sector Specialist for HGV at Seetec Outsource said:

“We are using education and skills to help give the HGV industry an overhaul. The new Urban Driver Apprenticeship can provide a new generation of drivers with more flexible working patterns and a better work-life balance in a profession that isn’t often associated with such benefits.

”We know that only around 20% of HGV drivers are aged between 16 to 35 years old, compared to 36% of the general working population being made up of this age group. We hope that by working with the Institute for Apprenticeships and listening to both employers and employees this new apprenticeship can help address the shortages and get the HGV industry back on the road.”

Training generally takes place at the applicant’s own workplace and one company who took up the Seetec courses is Breedon, one of the UK’s leading providers of construction materials. The company is currently recruiting over 20 new apprentices for its sites across the UK. Stewart Hook, Breedon Learning & Development Manager explains:

“This new apprenticeship standard is perfect for our needs. We want to develop the sustainability of our professional driver workforce, and the Urban Driver Apprenticeship provides us with the mechanism to attract young people into a career with Breedon.”

The drive to train the next generation of HGV drivers is sponsored by the government and more details can be found HERE.