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The haulage industry was the recipient of another round of bad news recently: the government has declined a proposal by a number of industry trade groups to establish apprenticeships for commercial drivers for both the haulage and transport industries. This latest move is especially troubling in light of the fact that the previous government indicated it would be willing to help find ways to reduce the cost of HGV, PCV and LGV training.

In the months leading up to May’s election, various members of the previous government openly acknowledged the severe driver shortage currently existing in the UK. They also acknowledged the government has a role in helping to defray the costs of training in order to get more drivers into the industry. This encouraged organisations such as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to put together a number of proposals.

Industry representatives went so far as to meet with government officials a few months back to talk about concrete plans for action. Yet when Chancellor George Osborne made his Summer Budget announcement, no help for the haulage and transport industries was included. Now the government has explicitly rejected the apprenticeship plan set forth by the RHA and FTA.

In rejecting the apprenticeship proposal, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has all but ended any hope of immediate relief from the government. Understandably, the FTA and RHA are none too happy with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills decision. They are preparing a response with the hope of encouraging the government to rethink its decision. In the absence of such a rethink, the industry will have to work harder to encourage young people to undertake professional driver training.

Inexpensive but Still Costly

The main argument against funding driver training through direct financing or an apprenticeship model is the fact that training is relatively inexpensive when compared to a university education and vocational training for more technical careers. However, being comparatively inexpensive does not mean cheap. The typical LGV training course runs several thousand pounds; that is not money the average young person has sitting around just waiting to be spent.

Professional driver training is costly enough that it is preventing recruiters from convincing enough young people to embark on professional driving careers. Add to that the fact that CPC driver training, which is now the law of the land, must be undertaken once every five years at an additional cost.

The HGV Training Centre is fully aware of the problems presented by driver training costs. We have made every attempt to make our training as affordable as possible, including partnering with a financing company to help students pay for their training. Financing can be applied to any of our HGV, PCV, or LGV training classes. For more information about financing, do not hesitate to contact us.

The HGV Training Centre is a leading provider of commercial driver training. We train for all licence classes at nearly four dozen facilities around the UK.

Sources:

Transport Engineer – http://www.transportengineer.org.uk/transport-engineer-news/tories-reject-hgv-driver-training-standard-and-funding/87595/

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