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Free HGV Driving Bootcamps Launched

The UK government has launched a series of intensive short courses to train more HGV drivers, Sky News reports. The so called ‘skills bootcamps’ have been introduced to tackle the recruitment crisis in the transport industry, which is causing ongoing issues with the supply chain.

The lorry driver shortage has been exacerbated by a perfect storm of events this year. These include delays to training and tests caused by the pandemic, an aging workforce retiring faster than new recruits are brought in, EU workers leaving because of Brexit, and an increased demand for consumer deliveries.

A temporary Visa programme was introduced in September, but so far this has had little effect, and is due to end shortly in any case. The situation has eased slightly, as new starters have been tempted by generous signing on bonuses and better wages. The new bootcamp scheme has 11,000 places available.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "The government has worked tirelessly to tackle the driver shortage caused by coronavirus and years of undervalued wages. We have now introduced 32 actions to help get more HGV drivers on the road.

He added: “It is good to see that these measures are clearly working, with the haulage industry reporting a significant increase in tests carried out and licenses issued. Now these training camps will provide a further boost for the sector as we work together towards its recovery."

FE Week reports that the Department for Education (DfE) has chosen 21 colleges and other providers to deliver the HGV training bootcamps, which consist of 16-week courses. The first graduates are expected to enter the workforce in March 2022.

In addition, 500 extra lorry driving tests will be carried out a week. Anyone aged over 19 can apply for the free scheme, if they already have a full UK driving licence.


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