29 March 2021
Candidates can step back into the cab, and the classroom, to learn transport skills.
As onsite transport industry training returns in England from Monday 12th April, GTG’s West Midlands training centre in Wolverhampton is offering its Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Licence course, one of a wide range of cab- and classroom-based training courses on offer.
Paul Hastie, Transport Manager at GTG West Midlands, explained how the resumption of on-site training will help both people working in the transport industry already, and for people looking to change their careers in the transport industry, post pandemic. He feels that transport courses reopening in an onsite setting could help address the skills gap affecting the road haulage industry.
Paul said: ‘There is an estimated shortage of 76,000 lorry drivers in the UK, against the demand for road freight. This is largely through an ageing workforce leaving the industry, through retirement or for medical reasons, not being replaced by a new generation of drivers.
‘At GTG we offer both the Category C Licence (for rigid trucks) and the Category C + E Licence (for articulated lorries) meaning both aspiring drivers can train here, and companies can train their staff here, with the right skills for a variety of road haulage needs.
‘These are five-day courses, and all aspects take place in the cab, along established routes – there are no surprises when it comes to the test day.
‘What’s more, both drivers who are training independently for their first steps in the transport industry, and candidates coming to GTG West Midlands to learn through their employer will be sitting their course in a DVSA-approved test centre. We offer a quality service provided by expert trainers in their field, in industry-leading facilities.
Paul said: ‘A big part of our training at GTG West Midlands is the continuous element that LGV and also long-haul drivers must undertake, such as CPC training. Drivers are required to complete 35 hours’ training every five years, and this has remained a constant throughout the pandemic, but the difference with the restart of on-site training from 12th April is that the classroom environment will suit many drivers better than learning in the remote setting we were forced to adapt to during lockdown periods.
‘Overall the feedback we have received from candidates during the past year shows that they would prefer to learn in a classroom setting, rather than by sitting in front of a computer screen for seven hours a day.
‘Equally, the message has been the same from our trainers who, while ready to share their expertise through remote learning as we adapted our courses in the past year, are happy to be back in the classroom delivering course material.’
So why become a lorry driver? Paul has more than one answer to that question, too.
He added: ‘With the rise of regional hubs known as Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs) boasting better facilities and more efficient pick-up and drop-off methods for the goods in the back of a driver’s truck, it has made parts of the job easier.
‘Modern vehicles are also much nicer to drive, with better tech and more efficient air conditioning systems for working in extreme seasonal weather.
‘The long-haul lorry driver role still carries many of the same demands as it has historically; overnight trips away from home and working lots of hours, but certain haulage jobs, like ferrying temperature-controlled seafood across to the continent, demand this.
‘That said, there are good financial rewards for putting the hours in.
‘Truck driving is a career you can be in for the long-haul, with high demand and strong job security. If you want to work in this role for 20 years and make it your own, you can.’