The scheme will upskill thousands of employees across England to become HGV drivers over the next two years.
The HGV Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills. First launched in December 2021, the programme has been extended once again until February 2026, with the Government committing a further £50m in initial funding, with scope for further extensions.
Helping employers plug the driver gap
HGVC has been awarded the maximum possible funding allocation of £10m to train 1,828 candidates over the next two years. It will focus solely on supporting employers looking to upskill existing staff, via three pathways: helping novice drivers gain their Category C (rigid lorry) licence, a Category C+E (articulated lorry) licence or helping those with a Category C licence upgrade to a Category C + E. This will include businesses across all sectors, including transport and logistics, retail, waste & recycling, agriculture, construction & engineering, local government, utilities and more.
The DfE funding offers a lifeline for employers large and small dealing with budget constraints. Under the new contract, HGVC will deliver partially funded courses. For large organisations, with over 250 employees, the scheme offers employers a 70% contribution to HGV driver training through the DfE funding. For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with under 250 employees, a 90% subsidy is available through the scheme. Employers will fund the remainder of the courses.
Thousands trained so far
Since the launch of the Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving in r 2021, HGVC has trained around 1,800 drivers. In addition, some 1,121 are now in jobs. Qualified drivers are securing starting salaries of up to £40,000.
HGVC’s existing programmes have secured a record number of applications from women, ethnic minorities and younger people. Since April 2023, when the previous extension the scheme was launched, more than 7% of HGVC’s trainees have been women. This proportion is significantly more than the 1% of women who are HGV drivers in the UK. In addition, more than 25% of trainees have been Black, Asian, or from other ethnically diverse groups. Currently, just 4% of HGV drivers are from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
How to apply
The extended Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving goes live on 1 February 2024. HGVC’s scheme is open to any businesses looking to upskill their existing staff. Candidates must hold a driver’s license for over three years.
The training courses are available at 60 locations across the country.
Employers can apply at www.hgvc.co.uk/bootcamp.
James Clifford, CEO of HGVC, said:“This is a hugely positive initiative that the Government is undertaking and something that we are proud to again be a part of. The Skills Bootcamps have made a big difference to the driver shortage, yet there’s more that needs to be done. This is a long-term issue that requires an equally long-term solution. With this funding, we can get even more drivers behind the wheel and keep Britain moving.
“Moreover, for large and small employers, this is a major opportunity to upskill their staff with a significant subsidy from the Government. We’ve had great success over the past two years working with businesses across a range of sectors and we’re looking forward to continuing to do so.”