Austen Shakespeare

Free HGV courses available across the country

Free courses for adults to train to be HGV drivers are under way across the country as part of a package of measures to ease driver shortages.

Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving are free, flexible, intensive courses designed to train drivers to be road ready and gain their licence, offering people the chance to launch careers in the logistics sector.

People that successfully complete the HGV courses are guaranteed a job interview with an employer, and the first drivers are expected to be on the road from March 2022.

The courses are available now in locations across the country and will also support existing drivers to refresh or upgrade their skills so they can to get back on the road. The Department for Education has today announced it has boosted capacity for even more people to just over 11,000 places – backed by £34m.

Courses are in high demand with more than 2,000 people having already expressed an interest in signing up with the National Career Service and hundreds more through Jobcentre and the DfE helpline.

To ensure more people can take their test sooner, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is also making capacity available for 500 more HGV driving tests a week, equivalent to up to 26,000 more per year.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is helping Christmas deliveries run smoothly by extending flexible retail delivery hours - first put in place during the pandemic – to cover all goods.

Flexible hours will stay in place until September next year to support supply chains over the busy festive period and beyond. Construction working hours will also be extended to make sure vital deliveries are not missed and smaller developers are not unfairly impacted by shortages.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.”

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