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We took the occasion in our last blog post to address the government’s rejection of a proposal put forth by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Freight Transport Association (FTA) to address the driver shortage through apprenticeships. While that was certainly bad news, the industry is not sitting still. The RHA has devised an introductory truck driver training programme that has already seen good results in a limited trial. It now hopes to expand the programme for greater access.

The Handy Shipping Guide reports that the RHA is working with Jobcentre Plus on a new recruiting programme aimed squarely at candidates who express a possible interest in professional driving and who appear to have the necessary skills and interest to learn. The programme pairs candidates with experienced drivers in a work shadow scenario of sorts that exposes the candidates to the real-life experiences of the average driver.

Reports say JCB will be selecting candidates from among job seekers who show interest and potential in professional driving. The successful candidates will be assigned to work for a total of 30 hours, over three days, for two consecutive weeks, with drivers employed by companies participating in the programme. Any company in the haulage industry wishing to participate can do so by contacting the RHA or JCB.

During the work period, candidates will be asked to do as much as they can in terms of assisting the driver. That might include everything from securing loads to handling cargo as it is moved on or off a truck. The only thing candidates will not be able to do is actually drive the vehicles. The idea is to expose these individuals to what the day-to-day job of the lorry driver is. It is hoped they will be encouraged to pursue the career once they understand what it entails.

Next Step: Earn a Licence

Upon initial review, we believe this new introductory truck driver training programme is an excellent idea. By exposing candidates to the day-to-day routine of the typical truck driver, the RHA and JCB can give candidates a realistic view of driving as a career. Candidates will see that it is a lot different from what they had initially perceived.

Among those candidates who decide truck driving is right for them, the next step is to earn a commercial driving licence. The HGV Training Centre can help. We provide comprehensive truck driver training at dozens of facilities all over the UK. Our training prepares students to take their theory and practical skills tests AND pass those tests the first time. Does our training work? We believe so. Some 92% of our students pass the theory test on the first try.

The HGV Training Centre utilises a concentrated and fast-paced approach to teaching students what they need to learn in just a matter of weeks. If you start your training tomorrow, you could be ready to take your practical skills test well before summer is out. Are you ready?


  1. Handy Shipping Guide – http://www.handyshippingguide.com/shipping-news/new-scheme-for-road-haulage-operators-to-increase-hgv-freight-driver-pool_6521


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