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Home > News > July 2005 > 15-Jul-2005

Programme aims to provide substitute for 'real life' experience

According to Skills for Logistics, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the freight logistics industries, one key factor hindering the recruitment of new drivers in the logistics industry is the lack of 'real life' experience.

Although the industry is currently experiencing an acute driver shortage, there is a pool of new drivers with LGV licences that struggle to find employment due to a lack of experience.

In a bid to provide a proxy for experience, Skills for Logistics has developed a programme called the Experience Booster.

"As in other walks of life, there is no substitute for real experience. However, an equally important fact of life is that in a time of shortage, there is a great need that has to be fulfilled from outside the industry," said Dr Mick Jackson, Director of Skills Development.

"Skills for Logistics' Experience Booster gives companies the chance to minimise the risk implicit in recruiting 'raw talent' by selecting as few or as many of its nine modules as they require in order to ensure that their staff hit the ground running and meet appropriate competency levels."

The Experience Booster consists of the following nine units:

  • Licence acquisition
  • Basic Skills Certification
  • Driving Goods Vehicles Vocational Qualification
  • SAFED (the Department for Transport's Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving programme)
  • Customer Service
  • Working in the UK
  • Industry Knowledge
  • Site Health & Safety
  • Employees' rights and responsibilities

The first three modules are based on the Logistics Skills Award - an existing Skills for Logistics initiative. The other six modules have been added in response to requests from potential employers of newly qualified drivers.

Skills for Logistics believe the programme will reduce drop-out rates as many of the modules can be delivered before the potential employee has a single driving lesson - providing them with an accurate idea of what a driving career entails.

By providing the SAFED module immediately after the successful test pass, Skills for Logistics is aiming to prevent bad habits creeping in to ensure that drivers are provided with the knowledge to drive safely and efficiently from day one.

Skills for Logistics is recommending that the SAFED training is carried out (where possible) on laden vehicles - unlike the driving test. All of this, they say, adds valuably to the experience proxy.

A pilot project has been launched for ex MG Rover employees with 300 currently training to become LGV drivers. Skills for Logistics plans to introduce the scheme to additional industry employers in the near future.

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Skills for Logistics

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