New Solutions for Driver Shortages

By Adam Awan  - 

An innovative partnership in Scotland is tackling the challenge of how to get more drivers working in the haulage industry. It could be good news on the horizon at last.

Putting together two pieces of a puzzle

It’s been a tough few years for many industries, and lots of hard-working people have seen their jobs threatened or have been made redundant. However, business is booming in the world of haulage and, with many companies looking for owner drivers to take on work, demand for hauliers is only growing. A forward-thinking Scottish partnership between the RHA and Driver Hire – an industry recruitment specialist – has been helping laid-off gas and off-shore oil workers start a brand-new career in logistics.

Skills Development in Scotland

In the past, the off-shore oil and gas industry was a huge employer in Scotland. While that is still true to an extent, unfortunately, as Sharon Cumming Scottish area manager for the RHA noted, “the oil and gas industry has been shedding jobs for a number of years”.

This shedding of jobs means that there are many Scottish men and women having to embark on a new career – a daunting task at any time of life. The partnership between the RHA and Driver Hire is stepping into the breach and offering free HGV training to the recently unemployed or those threatened with redundancy.

People on the course can get a HGV licence and all the training needed to start work in the logistics industry. There are also opportunities to train in transport management and safety.

Two Driver Hire job offices in Scotland are committed to helping these newly trained hauliers find work. The offices in Aberdeen and Inverness put the drivers on their books and help them secure employment. Of course, these ad hoc jobs might just be temporary, but everyone has to start somewhere, and many of the course’s ex-participants are already in full-time jobs.

How is it Funded?

As we all know, getting a HGV license is far from cheap. It costs about £2,500 these days, which is a hefty sum for anyone, never mind if you have just lost your job. So, it is great news that the RHA managed to get funding from the Transition Training Fund, managed by Skills Development Scotland, to help participants with the cost of retraining.

Who is Benefiting?

The scheme is open to all oil and gas workers, as well as people on the supply chains for oil and gas, who live in Scotland and who have been threatened with redundancy or lost their job in the past three years. Companies looking for owner drivers in Scotland are in for a treat, as so far 66 drivers have successfully finished the training.

The Haulage Exchange platform is a great place for companies looking for owner drivers, wherever you’re based. With over 43,000 registered vehicles, you will be able to subcontract loads in no time at all.

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