A £1 million boost to increase the workforce and combat unemployment in the Haulage sector has been launched by the government.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced that the nationwide “Road to Logistics Programme” aims to support those who find it difficult to get permanent jobs.

How will they do this?

Logistic companies will run essential skills training courses for ex-offenders, veterans and people that have been unemployed long-term, by putting them on a path to a career in transport, helping the industry solve the nationwide shortage of drivers.

The Transport Secretary added:

“Our dynamic road transport sector moves more than 1.4 billion tonnes of goods across the country every year, so we need to make sure it is fit for the future.

“Not only will this new programme help make this industry even stronger, but it will help pave the way for those who may be struggling to secure a permanent job and turn their lives around.”

Road to Logistics is a not-for-profit organisation founded by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and is open to all hauliers, offering support and training to those that are struggling to find permanent employment.

RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett, said:

“Road to Logistics provides a framework for candidates to gain their entitlement to drive an HGV and fully support and mentor their transition into a career in logistics.

“It is fantastic that government is supporting an initiative that will help to resolve the shortage of drivers whilst providing a helping hand for those that need it the most.”

The ‘first of its kind’ plan will see serving prisoners linked with potential employers, after following a successful trial with HMP Sudbury.

The scheme aims to train up 300 drivers in the first year, undertaking crucial training to gain qualifications, which will include taking their driving test, and the participants will have a guaranteed job on release.

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