National recruitment agency, Encore Personnel, is making significant strides to help bridge the current driver shortage, by investing £10,000 in additional training and incentives for its drivers. The driver shortage has been recognised as one of the largest challenges facing the transport sector in recent months, with 98 per cent of transport recruitment companies impacted.
Today, the industry is not making it accessible enough for young people who are looking for employment, to choose driving as a career path. Those leaving school at 16, cannot obtain a Class 1 driver’s licence before the age of 18, so look for other opportunities. Originally, to solve this challenge, the UK had been heavily reliant on EU nationals. This year, for instance, Encore hired almost 400 migrant workers. However, with Brexit on the horizon and other EU countries, such as Denmark offering better salaries to drivers, this may no longer be a future solution. Therefore, Encore decided to invest significantly in incentives aimed at attracting the right talent and ensuring the current workforce benefits from career progression and additional training.
The incentives include includes free CPC training, which helps to improve road safety and maintain the high levels of driving safety. Encore offers all of its drivers one module of free training every three months if they are working for them full time. This means that a driver can complete a full five-year CPC training programme in just 18 months. Encore’s Approved Driving Scheme also provides drivers with the skills to enhance their CV, while rewarding them for hard work with certificates and gifts.
By providing new and current drivers with the skills and training to pursue a successful career, Encore has been able to retain a large portion of its workforce. In turn, the agency can provide its clients with trustworthy and experienced drivers.
Andrew Fletcher, area manager for the Logistics Sector at Encore Personnel, comments: “This year has been one of the most challenging for the transport and logistics sector, because of the widening driver shortage. There is currently a shortfall of 50k HGV drivers.
“It’s important to tackle this alarming statistic, before the problem escalates. At Encore, we are determined to invest significantly in providing a solution to the driver shortage, so that our clients can continue to benefit from the best talent available,” he concludes.