Wigan trucker training upgrade offer

A budget retail giant is offering to help lorry drivers upgrade their skills as part of a package of incentives to boost recruitment and provide career development as it recruits dozens of them in Wigan.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:08 pm

Poundland will pay the costs of getting a HGV Class 1 licence – which can be as much as £2,000, including the four-day training course – to enable existing HGV Class 2 licence holders, who drive rigid body units, to move to the next level so they can drive articulated lorries.

The budget retailer is offering the support to HGV Class 2 drivers with six months experience, who will go on to a 12 month training contract when they get their Class 1 licence.

The offer to help fund the costs of getting a Class 1 licence is also open to existing Poundland colleagues and six have already joined the scheme.

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The training package complements a generous bonus scheme for existing and new Poundland drivers.

Those working out of one of Poundland’s three distribution centres in Wigan (Bryn), Springvale (West Midlands) or Harlow (Essex) until September will qualify for a £1,000 bonus in October.

And there is another £1,000 bonus in January for those who work for Poundland between October and December.

Poundland is currently recruiting more than 100 drivers across the three distribution centres.

It is looking to take on 40 50 drivers each in Wigan and Harlow and another 15 at Springvale near Bilston. In all, Poundland employs around 265 full and part-time drivers at the three sites.

Logistics director Tim Goale said: “We’re continuing to invest in our distribution teams to keep operations running smoothly. Funding the costs of getting a HGV Class 1 licence helps drivers get in the career fast lane, with more employment opportunities and higher earnings potential.”

Drivers looking to join the team and take advantage of the training package can email [email protected] with details of their current driving licence and experience.

The Road Haulage Association believes there was a shortage of around 100,000 drivers after the sector was hit by EU worker rules and drivers being told to quarantine by the NHS Covid-19 app.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a consultation to ease driver qualification requirements in a package of measures designed to help the issue. He also announced a temporary extension of lorry drivers’ working hours from nine to 10 hours a day but the move faced criticism from unions.

John Lewis and Tesco are among major employers to announce lorry driver salary rises as they bid to recruit those that are available.

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