Harborough residents offered the chance to become a lorry driver – as the UK faces a crippling nationwide shortage of truckers

Harborough District Council is teaming up with DWP Job Centre Plus to offer training

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:46 pm
People across Harborough are being offered the chance to become a lorry driver – as the UK faces a crippling nationwide shortage of truckers.

People across Harborough are being offered the chance to become a lorry driver – as the UK faces a crippling nationwide shortage of truckers.

Harborough District Council is teaming up with DWP Job Centre Plus to offer training to help people gain a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) or large goods vehicle (LGV) licence.

They are acting as demand for drivers in the logistics sector - due to a mix of Covid, Brexit, tax changes and a lack of training opportunities for 18 months - rockets.

The new Commercial Driving Licence Support Scheme will use some of the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant funding.

It will support individuals who were either on furlough or on low incomes and would like to complete the relevant HGV/LGV training courses.

The initiative will also fund the cost of the licence between £1,000 and £1,500.

Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough council, said: “Drivers are in huge demand at the moment, with significant salaries being offered to many with the right training.

“I would encourage eligible local residents, those who are on furlough, or benefits such as Universal Credit or Council Tax support to take advantage of this training opportunity while they can – particularly with the vital importance that logistics has in our local economy.”

Cllr Phil Knowles, who heads up the Liberal Democrat group on Harborough council, said: ”The driver situation is almost at critical point.

“Figures indicate that in the UK we have a shortfall of 100,000 drivers.

“It is impacting on the supply chain and we are seeing retail struggling, components stacking up and deliveries delayed.

“Only the other day I was chatting with one of the companies here in our district and was told daily deliveries had failed to arrive two days running only to catch up later that particular week,” said Cllr Knowles.

“There is no doubt that we need to increase the number of HGV Drivers and it’s needed sooner rather than later.”

For more information visit www.investinharborough.com/logistics or contact the council’s grants and funding officer Jaswinder Powar on 07874 876579 or email [email protected]

There is also information about this, and other grant opportunities at www.harborough.gov.uk/covid19businessgrants