Cast your mind back to the start of the very first lockdown in March 2020… a shortage of loo roll and pasta on supermarket shelves sent many into a frenzy! However, thanks to the hard work of suppliers, supermarket staff, warehouse operatives and HGV drivers, our shelves were soon stocked up.
Along with the incredible workers within the NHS, there were many unsung heroes who worked tirelessly through the lockdowns. The driving industry is just one sector that was fundamental during each lockdown period, however public recognition remained low.
If you read our last blog, we covered how the industry is facing its challenges with a shortage of qualified HGV drivers and a lack of new drivers coming into the job. Covid-19, Brexit and the introduction of IR35 has had a devastating impact on the industry. Since the pandemic outbreak and Brexit, many European HGV drivers have returned to their home countries during extended periods of lockdown, and this combined with the uncertainty of Brexit and their future rights to live and work in the UK has meant they have not returned. The shutdown of driving tests last year also meant only 15,000 drivers completed their training compared to around 40,000 on a normal year.
So what does it take to get your HGV licence?
To become a HGV driver you need to:
– have a full car licence
– be over 18 – but there are some exceptions
– get a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
How to get and keep the full Driver CPC
1. Apply for a provisional lorry or bus licence.
2. Pass the 4 tests that make up Driver CPC to qualify.
3. Take 35 hours of periodic training every 5 years to stay qualified.
You need to renew your bus or lorry licence every 5 years, and every year when you reach 65.
For more information, we recommend you look at the gov.uk website.
Have you seen the new ARC Driving Simulator?
We have a new state-of-the-art portable driving simulator, which mimics realistic driving conditions and caters for a wide range of vehicles including HGVs Class 1 and 2, coaches, tankers and vans. It offers a more realistic experience for would-be drivers, and also current drivers who need to undergo training. As an FTA approved course, it is currently the only one of its kind in the UK.
For more information about driving vacancies, or the driving simulator, please do not hesitate to contact the team.