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HGV training companies like ours have been facing an uphill battle for years trying to recruit new drivers for the transport and haulage industries. There are lots of reasons people cite for not wanting to become professional drivers, not the least of which are the many challenges that come with getting a truck licence. Wait times for testing are at the top of the list. Having to wait an excessive amount of time for testing just makes getting a truck licence harder than it needs to be.

A 2 May (2016) report on the Nottingham Post website reveals that the average wait time for HGV drivers looking to take their final tests is now about 11 weeks. Car drivers have it worse; they have to wait up to 17 weeks for their tests. Despite the DVSA’s multiple pledges over the years to solve the problem, it only seems to be getting worse.

Now, things look even more grim for people who depend on the Watnall testing facility in Nottinghamshire. The Nottingham Post reports that the centre has been under review for potential closure. According to the DVSA, all government-run testing facilities are being evaluated in light of the agency’s ongoing strategy of contracting out testing services to private companies. They say Watnall will not close until there is a suitable replacement, but locals are not so sure the DVSA can be trusted.

Difficult on Training Schedules

We have equal sympathy for both car and HGV drivers waiting to take their tests for licencing. However, our primary focus is on commercial drivers. Having to wait 11 weeks for the truck licence test makes it extremely difficult for us when putting together training schedules. The wait times make it equally difficult for students who just want to get to work.

Does it make sense for the government to encourage people to get vocational training but then hinder the process by not offering testing in a timely manner? Of course not. It is frustrating to people desperate for jobs to have to jump through so many hoops just to qualified. There is no justification for making people wait so long to get a truck licence simply because testing facilities are incapable of handling the load.

If the government is serious about helping us address the driver shortage, something must be done to eliminate the excessive wait times. As a training provider, we ought to be able to schedule testing to coincide with our schedule so that our students can be tested as soon as training is complete.

Have you ever thought about getting a truck licence? If so, we hope our comments here do not dissuade you. Here at the HGV Training Centre, we are experts at both training and navigating government red tape. We can have you trained, tested, and licenced to work more quickly than you might think – despite wait times. Training with us is your ticket to a long and productive career as an HGV or PCV driver.

Sources:

Nottingham Post – http://www.nottinghampost.com/Driving-test-centre-threat-waiting-times-increase/story-29212176-detail/story.html

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