'Why isn't there a student loan scheme to train HGV drivers?' caller asks

12 October 2021, 08:59

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Amid a national shortage of HGV drivers, one LBC listener has called on the government to introduce a student loan type scheme to train lorry drivers.

Jay, who works for a food and drink distribution company set out some of the issues which could be contributing to a shortage of HGV drivers.

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari he said much of drivers days are "wasted" waiting for warehouses to unload trailers of goods.

"There is a shortage of drivers on the road," Jay said. But, unlike many, he came up with a solution.

The haulage industry has warned they need 15,000 extra drivers to meet Christmas food deliveries alone

Citing the example of a student loan which is used to access university education, the caller said there was nothing similar in place for people to gain vocational qualifications.

"If someone told me when I left school to go and get an HGV [license] and I could have been earning £40,000 in two years, I'd have been jumping at it."

When Nick asked how much it cost to train as an HGV driver the caller was able to reveal it was around "£4,000" in total.

Jay said that many people have the wrong impression of the industry, with people believing all HGV drivers spend long periods of time away from home.

But, he said that was wrong with many roles offering "day jobs".

Watch the whole interesting exchange in the video at the top of the page.

A Government spokesperson said: "We have taken immediate action to increase the supply of HGV drivers to support fuel and food supply chains - streamlining the testing process, enabling fuel companies to work together and introducing short-term, temporary visas.

"We are seeing signs of improvement in average forecourt stocks across the UK, with demand continuing to stabilise.

"This is a global problem and we have been working closely with industry for months to boost recruitment."

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