CAN you help keep Britain trucking?
Today The Sun launches a new campaign to recruit tens of thousands of HGV drivers to beat the delivery crisis.
Lorry drivers are vital to keep our nation functioning but the growing recruitment shortage has seen supermarket shelves left bare, pubs run dry, McDonald’s unable to serve milkshakes, Nando’s forced to close and even the supply of school dinners under threat.
Experts estimate the nation faces a huge shortfall of 100,000 drivers caused by a “perfect storm” of veteran drivers leaving the profession, lack of new drivers training during the pandemic, some workers returning to EU countries and a backlog in driver tests.
But the good news is driver pay is up 12 per cent this year, with experienced drivers able to pocket up to £45k.
Fuel tanker drivers can take home even more — up to £60k a year.
Many firms are also offering £2k signing-on bonuses to new recruits.
To help get Britain delivering again, we’ve teamed up with top companies across the nation to help you retrain.
We’re offering free job listings to firms with driver roles on our Sun Jobs site and we’ll also be leading the charge to diversify the industry.
Currently just two per cent of HGV drivers are women but industry experts are calling on more females to apply.
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, said: “For the past 18 months, UK HGV drivers have been the anonymous frontline workers who have ensured our store shelves have been stocked, that manufacturing plants have maintained production schedules and crucial PPE and medicines have been delivered to hospitals and care homes.
Not only have they kept us fed — they have done all they can to keep us safe.
“We want government to acknowledge their work and help plug the shortage gap. Thank you to The Sun for helping to get the nation driving and delivering again.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “I’d also like to thank The Sun for shining a light on the fantastic careers the haulage sector has to offer.
“As we continue to build back better, I urge anyone starting off in the working world or looking for a new opportunity to kickstart their career in HGV driving by signing up now.”
Roles up for grabs today
SUPPLY chain giant Wincanton has more than 600 roles across the UK.
Jo Pick, People Director, said: “The Sun’s campaign is exactly what we need to get great people into professional driving positions.”
Dixons Carphone has 177 jobs plus a £1,500 bonus for 7.5t drivers. You need to be 21 or over to apply and hold a car licence. Apply at careers.dixonscarphone.com.
Gist, which drives for Marks & Spencer, needs 200 drivers urgently. £2,000 signing-on bonus. Text: DRIVE4GIST to 82228 to start your application.
Waste management firm Biffa is hiring 250 drivers. See biffa.co.uk/careers.
Doug Kay, Head of Distribution Operations, said: “We’re thrilled The Sun is revving up support for our industry and getting people interested in a career behind the wheel.” Apply at JLPjobs.com.
Veolia has 197 jobs, plus a £1,500 bonus. Send details to email@example.com
Selco Builders Warehouse needs to fill 22 roles with pay rates rising from Sept 1. See jobs.selcobw.com.
XPO Logistics has over 150 jobs at jobs.xpo.com. The firm offers bonuses plus upskilling for drivers to become trainers.
Tips to rev up your career
UNSURE how to get into trucking? Here are eight top tips from Employment Adviser Nathalie Howard at Edmonton Jobcentre Plus.
- Go to gov.uk/become-lorry-bus-driver to ensure you meet the criteria.
- Make sure you’re comfortable working independently and out on the open road.
- Think about how your existing skills could help you accelerate into a new career.
- Take an apprenticeship. Training costs are paid but you may get a lower salary for the first year. See gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship.
- Want to train privately? It costs £1,500-£2,000 per licence and it takes eight to ten weeks to qualify. After this, you can apply for relevant roles.
- Already have a licence? Go the extra mile and tailor every application to the company you’re applying to.
- Unemployed? Ask your work coach about retraining and any support available to get you started.
- Use the Gov.uk job help page on transport and logistics for more advice. See bit.ly/3Dh8Ukq.
‘Need more women’
LORRY-loving Claire Kennedy swapped a job as a dental nurse to train on an LGV driver apprenticeship with John Lewis.
She is based at Magna Park in Milton Keynes.
Claire, 26, said: “I have wanted to be an LGV driver since I was little. My dad is a lorry driver so I’d play with toy trucks and diggers.
“Watching drivers control something so big with such precision is very impressive to me.
“It always seemed like an occupation dominated by men, but I knew I could do it just as well, so when the opportunity to train with John Lewis came up, I jumped at it.
“I am very proud to be a woman in the industry. The support I’ve had from other drivers is amazing, it really is like a family – you feel part of something bigger.
“I love seeing more women drivers out on the road now. We are all just as skilled at the jobs we do.
“The industry is 24/7, so there’s a job for you at any time of the day you want to work. The hours can fit around your life.”
IF YOU’RE a firm seeking new HGV staff, The Sun will help you for free.
Sunemployment is offering all businesses a job listing, worth £99, so you can advertise your vacancies to our vast army of readers.
To claim your free listing, sign up at jobs.thesun.co.uk and click “add your job for free” on the toolbar.
Next, post your job.
Listings are valid for 30 days and you can renew – for free – at the end of the 30 days.
THE PAY IS LOW: NOT so. Truckers earn an above- average salary and pay is rising.
IT’S ONLY FOR MEN: ONLY two per cent of truckers are women, but firms are desperate to hire more. Jobs such as bin lorry driving offer family-friendly jobs close to home.
LONG, INFLEXIBLE HOURS: SOME jobs require drivers to be away and sleep in the cab. Many drivers enjoy this life.
Others prefer to return home each day. With the variety of driving work on offer, there’s a role to suit you.
IT WON’T SUIT MY LIFESTYLE: SALLY Gilson from the Road Haulage Association says: “Jobs come in all shapes and sizes – from bin lorries to transporting wind turbines.
You can keep it local – or drive internationally and see the world.”