Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Road Haulage Body Seeks Lorry Drivers and Managers from Oil and Gas Industry

Transition Training Fund Looks to Recruit Truckers and Ancillary Staff
Shipping News Feature
UK - Last year the Scottish Government announced a £12 million Transition Training Fund (TTF) via Skills Development Scotland (SDS), to help individuals affected retrain for other sectors. With the average age of a lorry driver in the country at 56, and a paucity of young recruits right across the UK, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has estimated that the UK is 45,000 drivers short and that unless urgently addressed, this figure could rise alarmingly to as much as 60,000.

Now those who find their employment prospects threatened after a career in the Oil & Gas sector can seek help from the RHA which has been awarded a TTF contract to manage the transition of those who have been made redundant or are under threat of redundancy due to the downturn in that industry. The fund will provide LGV driver, management and compliance related training across the haulage sector which the RHA says it will supplement with its industry knowledge and employment opportunities, maximising the potential outcomes for all those who qualify.

The road haulage industry is also painfully short of skills in other areas; management, compliance, mechanical and inspection roles, many of which are managerial/supervisory positions and the fund is open to all employees and contractors who have worked, or are working, either directly in the oil and gas industry or its supply chain and have been affected by the reduction in demand for skills, manufacturing and services normally delivered as part of the wider energy industry. The second round of funding was launched by Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse in Aberdeen prompting RHA, Regional Operations Manager, Brian Kenny to say:

“The UK’s haulage industry is experiencing a massive skills shortage. We anticipate that within the next year Scotland alone could face a shortfall of up to 25,000 drivers. The Transition Training Fund is a warmly welcomed opportunity for our two sectors to work together in addressing their respective skills gaps as well as demonstrating the benefits of working in road haulage. It’s clear that demand is there in the road haulage industry across Scotland for people who want to train as drivers.”

The Transition Training Fund is administered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on behalf of the Scottish Government and SDS representative Diane Hill urged any potential candidates to apply for retraining, saying:

”The Transition Training Fund aims to help retain the wealth of skills and experience developed by our oil and gas industry and to redeploy it in other sectors. This element of the fund allows training providers to help people move into a number of growth areas where there is a demand for skills, and it represents a real opportunity for people affected by redundancy to launch a new career.”

Anyone who wishes to make enquiries about becoming a trainee under the scheme or to discover what opportunities are available via the fund can visit the RHA’s dedicated website, the Training Fund website itself or email oil&gas@RHA-Scotland.co.uk