Telford College is launching a new series of ‘Skills Bootcamps’ to help train up a fresh generation of HGV drivers.
The college is offering seven different HGV training pathways as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which is designed to help everyone gain ‘skills for life’.
They include ‘back to wheels’ refresher programmes to help drivers return to previous roles, opportunities for existing drivers to upskill and upgrade, and a choice of ‘novice to category C’ programmes for newcomers to the sector.
The Skills Bootcamps are open to both employed and unemployed adults. Full details of the seven different pathways on offer through Telford College can be found at telfordcollege.ac.uk/skills-bootcamps
Claire Barker, Telford College’s assistant principal for employer engagement and skills, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to help deliver these important and timely programmes.
“Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.
“They are being delivered in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities, to help people gain skills for life, support skills demands in their local area, and ultimately to help people get a better job.
“There is a task to raise awareness, understanding and uptake of these exciting new courses – we want to work with the public, employers and stakeholders to build some real momentum around this innovative reskilling model.”
The HGV Skills Bootcamps build on Telford College’s already established Sector-Based Work Academies which are already up and running in partnership with employers and driver training agencies.
The free courses are available to anyone over the age of 19 who is actively seeking employment, and in receipt of either universal credit or jobseekers’ allowance.
Claire said Telford College was committed to doing everything possible to solve problems caused by a lack of qualified drivers which is causing serious disruption to the UK’s logistics and delivery chains.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “HGV drivers are vital to keeping this country moving. It’s brilliant to see the first people with their hands on the steering wheel as they head towards new well-paid careers in the industry.
“To help even more people get the training they need to be road ready, we’re expanding our HGV Skills Bootcamps to support more than 11,000 people to gain the skills they need to progress in the industry, and to help those with previous experience refresh their skills so they can get back on the road.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps added: “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. 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.”