Gi Group Puts the Breaks on Skills Shortage with Launch of First HGV Driver Apprenticeships the Next Generation of Apprentices
Leading the way for the recruitment sector, Gi Group are pioneering the Driver Academy as the only recruitment and HR company to offer these training opportunities.
Gi Group, one of the UK’s leading HR and recruitment agencies, is launching an HGV Driver Academy apprenticeship programme to tackle the perpetual shortage of drivers in the logistics industry.
Starting this September, in partnership with one of its subsidiary businesses, Tack TMI, Gi Group will be offering its new Driver Apprenticeship Schemes across the UK.
Leading the way for the recruitment sector, Gi Group are pioneering the Driver Academy as the only recruitment and HR company to offer these training opportunities. The scheme will provide candidates with a full support package, from bespoke training to helping each successful candidate to secure their dream role once qualified.
Andrew Fletcher, Operations Manager for the South at Gi Group, said: “Our new mission within our Driving division is to create a long-term, sustainable solution to the challenges posed by industry-wide driver shortages. Over the past few years, the industry has been hit hard from every direction, so we felt it was time we initiated a positive step forward to create a brighter future for the driving industry.
“There is a stigma in the industry around the gender and age of HGV drivers, but this just doesn’t need to be the case. We’re passionate that the future of the industry can be shaped by young, innovative men and women. Driving offers people a flexible working environment and opens up opportunities to work around your life, with the possibility of some serious salaries.”
Gi Group will start its apprentices off at a salary of around £11/£12 per hour, meaning most applicants won’t see a dip in their income. Throughout the course of the 12-month programme, there will be opportunities for individuals to increase their salary as they progress and become further qualified. The courses on offer cover Class 1 and Class 2 qualifications including hands-on blended learning throughout.
Research has found that at the beginning of 2022 the industry was short of around 100,000 HGV drivers. While this number dropped to 60,000 by the beginning of 2023, this is still a significant shortage in an industry that has suffered for over a decade – and there is clearly an urgent need for a long-term, sustainable recruitment solution.
Sara O’Brien, Head of Partnerships & Sales, Apprenticeships at Tack TMI, said: “We’re really excited to start our Driver apprenticeships through the launch of our Driver Academy in September and delighted to be able to provide this opportunity to our drivers. We have already had a lot of interest, which is a great sign. Over the years there have been dramatic driver shortages, for various reasons such as Brexit and the pandemic, but we are here to support a positive and flourishing future for our drivers, our clients and the sector.
“People often think of the long hours involved in driving, but we are here to show this career path offers so much more. It provides people with job flexibility and role progression that many warehouse or office-based roles can’t necessarily facilitate. Driving offers the work-life balance that so many crave with the opportunity to earn a really healthy salary.”
Gi Group isn’t just providing a solution for driver shortages, it is also supporting its clients to invest in the future of their industries. Offering apprenticeship options supports the industry as a profession, and projects a more respected career.
Richard Madej, Operations Manager for the North, said: “The industry is constantly struggling to attract enough HGV drivers because I just don’t think people realise the impressive benefits and importance of these driving roles. HGV drivers keep the world turning, ensuring goods are seamlessly transported from A to B. 2022 was a particularly challenging year for the industry, with rising inflation, driver and raw material shortages, it left a lot of room for improvement and that’s where we step in. The industry has been so desperate for a pipeline of skilled workers in the past, we hope our new schemes will stop this from happening in the future.”
With the cost-of-living crisis still affecting millions of families, there is nationwide concern around the security of job roles and the opportunity for progressive salaries. Gi Group’s new programmes support a work-life balance, provide a flexible working routine that can fit around children and childcare and can lead to positions which can pay around £60,000 per year once fully qualified.
If you’re interested in joining Gi Group’s new apprenticeship scheme, go to its website today: uk.gigroup.com.