Much has been written in the media on the growing shortage of LGV drivers, which is causing increasing headaches for both specialist logistics operators and organisations like builders merchants, for whom delivering product to customers is a mainstay of their business.
One of the biggest concerns is the ageing population of qualified drivers. The union Unite found that the average age of LGV drivers was 48 in 2016, with 13% aged over 60 and just 1% under 25. The challenge appears to be attracting younger people to train to replace them — and within our own industry, the BMF may have the answer.
BMF Apprenticeships Plus now offers a Large Goods Vehicle Driver Level 2 Apprenticeship. The Apprenticeship has been designed by employers to meet the current needs of the wider logistics industry, essentially to enable them to “grow their own drivers”. It has proved highly successful in other industries, taking a non-LGV driver to a fully qualified Category C ‘5-Year’ driver in a short space of time.
Additional benefits have been included within the BMF Apprenticeship. On completion of the 12-month training period, the driver will have a full Category C Licence, with a DQC card confirming he or she has undertaken the approved Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) initial and periodic training. The driver will also have completed HIAB lorry mounted crane training and Banksman training, plus merchant-specific training on loading, delivering, stocking and customer service.
Importantly, the LGV Driver Level 2 Apprenticeship is available to new recruits and existing employees. Age is not a barrier to entry as it can be used to upskill any employee in a relevant role. Successfully completing the Apprenticeship produces professional drivers who have the skills, experience and qualifications they need to carry out the role effectively, whilst also acting as an ambassador for their employer’s business.
The full Apprenticeship will normally take 12 months to complete. The first two months comprise intensive driver training and passing the Category C driver test. Once this is passed, the apprentice can begin driving your vehicles, subject to insurance requirements, as an apprentice may drive professionally for 12 months without taking CPC part 2 and 4 tests.
The remaining training, including driver CPC will take place over the next 5 to 6 months, with an end-point assessment around the 12 month mark to conclude the apprenticeship and qualify as a Category C ‘5-year’ driver.
The apprenticeship involves practical and classroom training off-site at a local facility, workplace training and self-study on-line. Because of the degree of off-site training involved, the apprenticeship requires a minimum number of participants. Recognising that this could be a barrier to entry for smaller BMF member companies, BMF Apprenticeships Plus is putting together regional groups of eight learners in order to make it accessible to all.
To find out more, including BMF driver apprenticeship regional groups in your area, and other apprenticeships the BMF offer, contact Carmen Daly at BMF Apprenticeships Plus on 0333 057 657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Training Courses
5-6 March Selling into Merchants (2 days) Coventry
8 March Measuring Building Quantities (CPD) Nottingham
12-13 March Yard Foreman’s Toolkit (2 days) Nottingham
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14 March Managing Sickness Absence (1/2 day) Nottingham
19-20 March Yard Foreman’s Toolkit (2 days) Nottingham
19 March Measuring Building Quantities (CPD) Durham
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28 March How a House is Built (CPD) Doncaster
Find out more and book BMF training courses at www.bmf.org.uk.