One of the UK’s leading specialist driver training providers has highlighted the importance of new approaches to training, in addressing the severe skills shortages detailed in the report issued by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and Statista recently.
The report stated that more than half of logistics companies are anticipating a rise in skills shortages over the next five years. However, Carl Aberg, founder of CAS Training Academy, believes more can readily be done to entice new drivers into the sector and ensure that those already driving for a living, continue to do so.
He explained: “Driving can represent an excellent short-term and long-term career opportunity, but it’s not just for legal reasons that transport and fleet companies need to invest in their drivers. Knowing they are properly trained – in excess of minimum legal requirements - makes drivers feel valued and gives them confidence to go out and do the job.
“This is where training providers who are prepared to go beyond the basic Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements can add real value. Much of the training currently delivered for the CPC is classroom-based and theoretical. Of the four main modules, only one could be considered practical. But we are seeing greater value from a more practical approach, with courses led by trainers who are still driving currently, rather than focused solely on delivering classroom sessions. This raises competence well above the basic level and makes the training more applicable to the actual day-to-day work.”
Aberg went on to mention the likely impact of Brexit on the driver pool but said this could, at least in part, be mitigated by looking into novel ways to recruit new drivers and find them work once trained.
“Many individuals in the armed forces receive training in HGV driving, and only need to take a couple of CPC modules once they leave the forces, to be fully qualified. This is a massive area of growth for us, and it’s helped by the fact that our approach goes beyond simply training drivers. Knowing that some companies are reluctant to take on drivers with less than two years’ experience, we actively work with freight and transport companies to find employment for those who have taken our courses and are ready to start work.”
He concluded: “Brexit, if and when it happens, is likely to impact on the number of overseas drivers working in the UK, making it even more important for companies to act now in the areas of training and recruitment.”