With a growing UK wide shortage of HGV drivers, Britain’s logistics industry could be heading towards crisis, as operators struggle to attract young people to an industry where the average age is 53. Acclaim is bucking this trend by investing in the training of the next generation of drivers.
Their latest success story, 19 year old Matt Robinson, joined Acclaim 18 months ago, and immediately expressed an interest in obtaining his HGV license. Following a comprehensive training regime, involving two driving tests, CPC exams, theory tests and a Hazard Perception Test, Matt obtained his Class 1 in March. The studying does not end here, though – to maintain his Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), he will have to undertake a further 35 hours of learning over the next 5 years.
Matt said: “Achieving my Class 1 has been a great boost for my career and income in the short term, but long term I can truly choose where my driving career takes me without the restraint of lack of qualifications. The great thing about working in haulage is every day is different, and you never know what the next day will have in store for you.”
Nick Knappett, Acclaim’s Operations Director said: “Logistics operators are struggling to recruit drivers, yet it’s estimated that in order to grow the economy, the UK needs an extra 150,000 drivers by 2020. In light of this, we will fully support young people who are interested in a career in haulage, especially when currently there are more people retiring from the industry than joining it.
“We’re aware that some people have expressed concern over 18 year olds being allowed to drive HGV, but the large amount of extra training that’s involved means that all HGV drivers are among the most highly-skilled road users. The change in legislation to allow younger HGV drivers was desperately needed to ensure that the industry has enough drivers to meet the growing demands placed upon it.”