The West of England Combined Authority is funding a new scheme to recruit and train lorry drivers to help meet a regional and national shortage, Metro Mayor Dan Norris has announced.
Speaking from behind the wheel of an HGV at haulage giant GXO, the Mayor launched the scheme backed by top haulage firms.
Up to 250 new drivers will be recruited and then trained thanks to West of England Combined Authority funding as part of its responsibility for adult education.
Dan Norris said “HGV drivers are vital to keeping the West of England moving. We’ve all seen the impact of driver shortages in recent times and the empty shelves that brings. There has been a looming crisis for some time as government failed to horizon scan and drivers retired and went back to live in continental Europe”.
The recruitment drive will be backed by tailored support from industry specialists. Anyone who shows an interest in becoming a driver will get a bespoke package of help both behind the wheel and with skills such as job interview prep. There will also be targeted work to encourage groups of people who don’t traditionally work in the industry to consider a career in driving.
Mayor Norris said: “HGV driving can be a good career and with pay on the up, there’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel. You will be responsible for keeping our region moving. I’m pleased the West of England Combined Authority I lead is tackling the labour shortages we face to enable our area to thrive.”
To learn more about the new lorry driver campaign, please visit: http://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/delivering-the-goods