How haulage companies are saving 90% on HGV driver training

A Government scheme to train thousands of HGV drivers has been extended again, meaning that haulage firms can save up to 90% of the cost of HGV driver training.

So, what are the HGV Skills Bootcamps and how can they benefit haulage companies?

Background

As most haulage firms will know, the UK suffers from a long term shortage of HGV drivers.

But industry and the government have made great strides in addressing the shortage – such as implementing Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving, which have helped train thousands of new drivers. 

The HGV Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills. First launched in December 2021, the programme has been extended once again until February 2026, with the Government committing a further £50m in initial funding, with scope for further extensions. 

The Government-funded training is provided via nine pathways. Courses range from novice drivers looking to gain their HGV licence, to refresher courses and upgrades for current licence holders.

A lifeline for firms large and small

Cost is a major barrier to entry for new haulage drivers looking to enter the industry, and a significant outlay for any employers looking to upskill staff.

The cost of training new drivers is significant, especially if firms do not have the infrastructure to help. Training internally by buying new lorries and hiring instructors can be expensive, typically costing in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Moreover, without knowledge or experience in running and managing training courses, firms may take longer to train new drivers. This inexperience increases the cost of training and further delays or disrupts services.

This government funding is therefore a lifeline for firms large and small. For large organisations, with over 250 employees, the Skills Bootcamps offers employers a 70% contribution to HGV driver training through the DfE funding. For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with under 250 employees, a 90% subsidy is available through the scheme.

How many HGV driver training places are available?

The scheme will train and upskill thousands of employees across England to become HGV drivers over the next two years. 

For example, my firm, HGVC, has been awarded the maximum possible funding allocation of £10m to train 1,828 candidates over the next two years. 

HGVC will focus solely on supporting employers looking to upskill existing staff, via three pathways:

  1. Helping novice drivers gain their Category C (rigid lorry) licence
  2. A Category C+E (articulated lorry) licence
  3. or helping those with a Category C licence upgrade to a Category C + E.

This will include businesses across all sectors, including transport and logistics, retail, waste & recycling, agriculture, construction & engineering, local government, utilities and more. 

The benefits of growing your fleet with new drivers

For large and small employers, this is a major opportunity to upskill their staff with a significant subsidy from the Government.

One example of a business taking advantage of the scheme is GXO, a world leader in providing cutting-edge logistics solutions for multinational companies and blue-chip market leaders. 

GXO needed a swift response to a request from customer Costa Coffee to upskill over 150 van drivers from a Class B to a Class C licence in a short time. Costa Coffee required training in Manchester, Leeds, Willand, West Thurrock, Feltham and Avonmouth due to a customer demand relating to increased weights on deliveries and fleet changes. 

GXO opted to outsource some of this training to HGVC, for a fully managed service making use of the HGV Skills Bootcamp funding available from the UK Government. HGVC was able to immediately onboard and book drivers for every element of licence acquisition, make use of government funding and offer training in locations near the driver’s base, via its network of training centres.

As their UK Driver Academy Manager, Dan Beaufoy said of the scheme:

“This has been a great process and we’re very happy with the results. HGVC assumed the responsibility for all aspects of the training which meant that we could focus on our customer. There’s funding there to be used and this is a great opportunity for businesses in our sector.”

How to apply for HGV driver training

The extended Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving went live on 1 February 2024. HGVC’s scheme is open to any businesses looking to upskill their existing staff.

The training courses are available at 60 locations across the country. Employers can apply at www.hgvc.co.uk/bootcamp.

The article was published on .


Recommended