A career as a HGV driver can be both rewarding and lucrative, but it seems this message is not being well received due to a current shortfall of 45,000 drivers in the haulage industry. To plug this gap a scheme called the Road to Logistics is underway to encourage more British people to become HGV drivers by bringing in former offenders and ex military personnel into the industry.
Road to Logistics is a national training programme to encourage new talent into the transport and logistics industry from sections of society where individuals need help and support. Road to Logistics is a not-for profit organisation working in partnership with many of the industry’s leading brands such as RHA, Ford & Slater and Brit European. Brit European are an international, specialist logistics provider and parent company to Silver Arrow Recruitment and were recently interviewed on ITV news regarding their support of Road to Logistics. The interview featured an ex offender who spent 4 years at Sudbury Prison, but who is now a hardworking employee of Brit European. He believes Brit European gave him the opportunity of a new career and a chance to provide for his children, when other companies may have thought twice about employing someone with a criminal record.
Protecting the Future of Logistics
Although a fully qualified HGV driver can potentially earn an income of up to £45,000 per year, initial training costs to obtain licenses are acting as major barriers to increasing the number of British drivers. Many have called on the government to provide funding to support schemes such as the Road to Logistics to protect our economy and the future of the logistics industry.
Graham Lackey, Managing Director of Brit European and Silver Arrow echoed these concerns by stating; ”If you have 1 in 4 trucks stood, then the economy could come to a grinding halt, a worry for myself and other business leaders is not can we buy the truck, or put trucks on the road, but can we put someone in the truck to drive it.”
Currently, more than 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record – an increase of 1.1 million over the past two years, according to government figures obtained by Nacro, a social justice charity that supports people with criminal convictions. Nacro would like to see employers wake up to the idea that these 11 million people are part of the solution to a shortage in skilled staff. With Brexit bringing uncertainty, the charity believes it is the time to invest in home-grown talent from all walks of life.
Employers have a negative picture of what they think of as an ex-offender,” says Dominic Headley, a legal officer at Nacro. Employers that partner with Nacro and employ former offenders have positive feedback about their strong work ethic and commitment, according to Headley. “Employers say ex-offenders are loyal – people with a criminal record are more likely to stick with a job because they know how difficult it was to find that job in the first place,” he says. “They will have gone through rejection and the worry over how they will be received in the workplace by colleagues and so on.”
So with the average age of a HGV driver being 55, and the need to address the driver shortfall being ever more present, could hiring, training and taking a chance on ex offenders be the answer?
About Silver Arrow
Silver Arrow is a specialist recruitment agency that focuses on the recruitment and placement of temporary and permanent drivers of all classes and we fully support the Road to Logistics scheme.
We offer temporary, temporary to permanent or permanent assignments, with a focus on compliance and quality, 24/7 customer service, and a simple streamlined administration and timesheet approval process for our customers.
We specialize in placing our drivers into a range of sectors including general haulage – articulated (LGV CE) and rigid (LGV C) transport, fuel and chemical distribution (Pet. Reg. and ADR), automotive distribution (car and low loader), self-unload (HIAB and truck mounted forklift), and IPAF.
As a group, we are proud to be ISO 9001 accredited and recent winners of the Motor Transport and the Automotive Supply Chain Global Awards. By being built on a strong foundation we are able to deliver a professional, compliant, and cost-effective service to our clients.