Investing in People – Haulage Industry Training Programmes

For those working in the industry, the much-vaunted logistics skills gap predicted for the UK over the next few years is a comforting nod to their choice of profession. There’s no doubt the wide-ranging haulage and logistics industry offers an attractive prospect for the future, but success will certainly depend on staying relevant and investing in continued self-improvement through education.

Whether you’re an owner operator doing independent haulage jobs or part of a management or administration team for a larger logistics operation, the estimated 60,000 new HGV drivers needed over the next five years are a pretty good reason to invest in some of the excellent training schemes across the UK.

Government Apprentice and Trainee Schemes

With a rapidly ageing workforce, apprentice and traineeship schemes for the HGV industry have become more important than ever. To this end, the UK government has pledged the creation of 30,000 new apprenticeships across the road and rail industry over the next five years, to 2020. An annexe to the National Infrastructure Plan for Skills, the scheme is aimed at “delivering a sustained and lasting legacy of skills and opportunity for people across the UK”.

The move should offer a tempting incentive to any young person considering a career in haulage jobs.

The Skills and Apprenticeship Zone at the IMHX

International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) is one of Europe’s largest intralogistics events. This year, for the first time, the event (to be held at the NEC in Birmingham in September) includes the addition of the interactive Skills and Apprenticeship Zone. The innovative zone will feature exhibits from key professional trade bodies, along with some of the largest national and multi-national employers.

Degree Qualifications

Many jobs in the haulage and logistics sector don’t require any formal tertiary qualifications – structured on the job training and hands-on experience is often seen as being more valuable than a degree.

However, for those with an eye on conquering the world, a degree in logistics and supply chain management will put you head and shoulders in front of the competition in terms of progressing your career to the upper echelons. Some of the larger companies may even subsidise the cost of a part time university degree, and offer day-release to allow you to attend lectures.

HGV Driver Training

In the UK, anyone wanting to take on haulage jobs needs to obtain a professional qualification in the form of the CPC – the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence – encompassing a four-part test that needs to be renewed every five years. But your training shouldn’t start and end with the CPC. HGV training centres throughout the UK offer a host of courses including fleet training, industry refreshers, tachograph training, SAFED (safe and fuel efficient driving), and category C, C1 and E licencing.

External Professional Development

Certain industry bodies offer training to members, so it’s well worthwhile researching those that govern the particular sector you work (or intend working) in. Associations like BIFA (British International Freight Association), CILT (the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport), and IoTA (the Institute of Transport Administration) offer training in everything from dangerous goods handling, to warehousing and best practice health and safety procedures for those working in logistics and haulage jobs.

The potential to forge a lucrative and fulfilling career in the haulage and logistics industry is virtually unlimited. With plenty of scope for advancement and new opportunities opening up as a result of the impending skills gap, it’s never been a better time to prepare for the future through education and training.