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At last week’s IRTE conference, the two main themes were safety and regulatory compliance. However, that didn’t stop Senior Traffic Commissioner Beverly Bell from encouraging representatives of the transport industry to help build something the entire UK can be proud of. Bell said the industry has a long way to go in this regard.

Bell’s primary concern is that the less-than-favourable reputation of the current transport industry makes it hard to recruit new drivers and ensure best practices moving forward. She told the assembled audience that the best way to change things was for individual companies to join and promote transport industry trade groups.

Most of these trade groups include, as part of their mission, a goal to achieve the utmost professionalism within their given sector. This includes things like insisting on the best standards for lorry drivers, promoting education among fleet managers and company owners, and lobbying for improved infrastructure and better regulation.

Bell also addressed the need for new and younger blood in the transport industry. As reported by HGV UK, she told the conference that the transport industry needs ‘young blood in order for the industry to thrive’. She is certainly right about that.

Whether it’s lorry driving, coach operation, or any other type of professional transport driving, there is a measurable shortage of drivers all across the UK. A combination of recent retirements and fewer people seeking training is only making matters worse. Moreover, as the UK economy gradually improves, the demand for professional drivers will only increase.

Shaping the Future

Perhaps the most important thing to take away from Bell’s comments is her belief that transport companies have the opportunity to shape the future of the industry through improving best practices and letting their voice be heard in regulatory matters.

We would like to take that one step further by reminding leaders of the importance of quality training, both for new drivers and veterans. Drivers are both the face and engine of the transport industry. Without an emphasis on quality training programs, there is only so much professional trade groups can do.

The trade groups can help by getting involved with training organisations through joint programs. A partnership between the two would create a dynamic environment that would not only encourage quality training, but also reward quality programs while thinning out those that are not getting the job done.

The HGV Training Centre prides itself on being one of those high quality organisations. We have over 45 facilities across the UK, all offering some of the best training you will find anywhere in the business. Our reputation is second to none, which is why we work with individual drivers and large companies alike.

If you or your company is still in need of CPC training, make a point to get in touch with us today. Getting that taken care of as soon as possible should be the first order of business in any effort to improve the transport industry’s reputation.

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