Apprenticeships in the spotlight as solution to UK LGV driver shortage

TRS Training are marking Apprenticeships Week 2018 with the launch of an awareness raising campaign in association with the Road Haulage Association (RHA), aiming to help logistics and distribution companies address the UK LGV driver shortage.

Over the next few weeks, TRS Training will be delivering a series of presentations to members of the RHA, explaining to numerous employers in the industry how Apprenticeships are the ideal long term solution to tackling the driver shortage crisis.

Industry crisis

There is currently a shortage of approximately 60,000 large good vehicle drivers in the UK, with potential for this to rise to 150,000. The crisis is worsening due to an aging workforce – the average age of drivers is 53, and 13% are over 60. In addition, many foreign drivers who worked in the UK have returned home fuelled by Brexit fears. Another contributing factor is the lack of promotion of the sector to school leavers and other young people as a career option.

Apprenticeships solution

TRS are proposing the Apprenticeship model as a method for addressing this shortfall in driver numbers. Apprenticeships are genuine jobs with an accompanying structured skills programme that equips staff with the skills, knowledge and behaviour required for specific job roles. Employers report many benefits from employing apprentices including increase in productivity, staff loyalty and satisfaction levels.

The LGV Apprenticeship is a 12 month programme that includes LGV theory, driving practice, licence acquisition training, maths and English, and professional skills, knowledge and behaviour.   

Pioneering

The Apprenticeship awareness raising campaign follows the launch of a pioneering programme developed by RHA, Close Brothers Asset Finance and TRS Training Ltd. The partnership sees Close Brothers funding a proportion of wages for 20 apprentices under the age of 24, with TRS Training developing their skills to industry standards. The trainee drivers will complete an LGV Apprenticeship and their final assessment will be undertaken by the RHA.

Time to take action

Director of TRS Training, Kevin Birch, explains the key role Apprenticeships have to play:

“The lack of drivers is having a significant negative impact on the UK road haulage sector and it’s time to take action. But there is no quick fix – this is an issue that requires a strategy and investment if we are to start reversing trends. The Apprenticeship model provides the ideal long term solution because it fosters staff loyalty and commitment as well as providing the necessary skills the industry needs. Employers favour Apprenticeships because training schedules are flexible to meet shift patterns, and drivers are developed in line with organisational culture and practices.”

Investment for future success

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, underlines the importance of raising awareness of Apprenticeships in the road haulage sector:

“Many of our members are still not fully aware of the benefits of Apprenticeships can offer. Recent government reforms have developed the programme to be more in line with employer needs and with the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, the time is right for employers in the industry to start considering Apprenticeships as investment for future success. This is why we have chosen to launch this information campaign and put the spotlight on Apprenticeships as a fundamental feature on the road to productivity and growth in the UK’s road haulage sector.”

The TRS Training/RHA Apprenticeships Awareness Campaign launches during Apprenticeship Week and runs until May 1st.

TRS Training

TRS Training, is a Liverpool City Region training provider delivering Apprenticeship services to logistics and manufacturing businesses across the country. Ian Lomas of the Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation (GMLPF), of which TRS is a member, highlights how much of an asset the training organisation is to the region:

“TRS Training are a shining example of niche Apprenticeship provision in Liverpool City Region. Their partnership with the RHA and their national client base points to their professionalism and the quality of their services. An inspirational role model for Apprenticeships best practice, TRS are an invaluable ambassador for Liverpool City Region. We’re extremely proud of the part they’re playing in tackling the UK’s LGV driver shortage through Apprenticeships.”