Future lorry drivers are being offered £5,000 LGV licence training courses for free in a bid to tackle a huge shortage of logistics staff.

Currently, it is estimated that there is a shortfall ofas many as 90,000trained truck drivers in the UK due to a combination of Brexit, changes to rules, and lockdown preventing the training of new drivers for much of the last 18 months.

Now, in a bid to jump-start the talent pipeline, Pertemps Driving Academy is offering free licence acquisition training at sites in Worcestershire, Yorkshire and, soon, Bristol, as it seeks to fill massive shortfalls in this sector.

John Poliquin, director of Pertemps Driving Academy, said: “There is a significant shortage of logistics personnel, specifically lorry drivers, which is now impacting people’s daily lives, with some shops not being as well stocked as they might normally be.

“We felt we needed to do something to try and get things moving and attract the next generation of drivers. One of the biggest barriers is the cost, which is why we are offering to cover that £5,000 in fees.

“Another barrier is that there is a lot of organising to do in terms of appointments, medicals, and assessments, for instance. This needs to be coordinated and booked. We will do all that for our candidates also. We will take that pain away so they can focus on the driving.”

Since 2014, the academy has welcomed more than 3,000 drivers into the business through Pertemps Driving Assessment and Licence Acquisition courses.

In return for the free training, candidates must sign a contract to work with Pertemps for at least two years. During that time, they will be looked after by the organisation, including any additional training and educational needs.

The drivers could then go on to support any number of Pertemps’ high-profile logistics clients across the UK, with opportunities for long careers in logistics, including rail, sea and airfreight as well as road haulage.

“We felt it was right to be proactive for the good of the whole economy and putting people first, as well as introducing new blood into the exciting arena of logistics,” said Poliquin

“This type of driving role is very different from how it may have been a few years ago and can attract applicants from diverse backgrounds.

“The latest Pertemps/CBILabour Market Updatewarns the continued economic recovery is dependent upon more candidates to fill vacancies. We hope this offer of free training will jump-start the supply of people coming forward for driving roles.”

Anyone interesting in signing up for the driver training should contact0800 032 0728or emaildriving.academy@pertemps.co.uk.