Doing Our Bit
Take a look around you and consider how your valued possessions, clothes, food and even the materials to build your house were delivered.
The logistics of getting virtually any product to the end consumer requires a commercial vehicle to move it through the supply chain. A major part of this chain inevitably involves the employment of drivers who hold a commercial (aka HGV or LGV) licence.
UK PLC is currently seeing an acute shortage of these vocational skills and, therefore, logistics companies locally and nationally are experiencing difficulties recruiting drivers to get goods to your door. Statistics show the average HGV driver is fast approaching 60, and the void left by these very drivers retiring is further compounding the issue. This reduction of jobseekers applying to join the industry is attributed, by some, to the profession seeing regulatory hurdles such as Driver CPC and increased on-the-job training. In addition, a more rigorous process of testing to reach the required driving standard would-be heavy goods drivers is proving too much of a hurdle for some.
We have taken it upon ourselves to go some way towards addressing these challenges. By providing opportunities through localised training and/or finding appropriate employment for newly passed drivers, in particular ex-forces personnel, we are assisting more jobseekers get a foothold in this essential industry.
One excellent example of this is driver Billy Davey who had spotted an advertised vacancy in Cannington. Billy, a forces leaver who had completed his final tour of duty, was experiencing difficulties finding work as he had no commercial experience. Despite this, Somerset-based Cannington Enterprises, a client of ours, were willing to give him an opportunity.
James Spens, Transport Manager for Cannington, and himself an HGV licence holder, nursed Billy into the job and supported him through every stage. Billy has now successfully completed his temp-to-perm period and has started with Cannington as a fully-fledged employee. When we asked Billy how he felt about his experience, he said
“I was unsure as to my ability at the start but James [Spens] gave me the confidence to get through the initial weeks. I was taking 11 or 12 hours to complete the rounds and now I’m down to 8 or 9 at the most. They are also looking to put me through my class one [articulated lorry] test which I’m really looking forward to”.
Cannington had been experiencing difficulty in filling the vacancy, despite a generous salary and benefits package, above the national average. James Spens said
“Backline introduced Billy to us and, admittedly, at first we were hesitant due to his lack of experience. However, Billy’s attitude was that he simply wanted to get stuck in and this is all we can ask for. We know the people are out there, the industry just needs to reach out and give people the confidence to go for it!”
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Billy on his success and look forward to continuing the relationship with both Billy and Cannington going into 2018!