Pall-Ex launches driver recruitment drive

To tackle the problem of increasing driver shortages across its network, Pall-Ex is launching a nationwide Driver Drive. There are opportunities for Class 1 and 2 HGV drivers, van drivers and forklift truck operators. The launch comes at the same time as the Road Haulage Association National Lorry Week (16th-22nd September) that is designed to raise the profile of careers in the logistics industry.

The driver shortage is in part because few young people enter the industry with just 1% of HGV drivers in the UK under 25. The average age of drivers was 48 in 2016 of which 13% are over 60. Kevin Buchanan, Group managing director at Pall-Ex, comments: "We wanted to find a resolution that would benefit Pall-Ex as a whole, particularly our members who are struggling to fill driving roles.

"We receive a lot of requests via our social media platforms about recruitment in different areas of the country, so it became apparent that we needed one location where people could apply for various jobs across the network. "Available roles are for drivers who already hold a Class 1 or 2 HGV licence, or a counter-balance licence, and are looking for new opportunities. However, we do have a forklift truck academy where drivers can access a full training programme, which is currently available at our central hub in Ellistown."

Despite being the UK's fifth largest employer, responsible for moving 1.41 billion tonnes of goods in 2018 according to figures from the Department for Transport, the logistics industry continues to face recruitment issues.   Kevin adds: "Attracting the younger generation has become more challenging as they are unaware of the scope of jobs available and the opportunities for progression. "Also, training to become a driver has a major cost associated with it.

We fully support calls for improved access to training, apprenticeships and grants that can help young people start their careers in the industry. "We want logistics to be a talking point in schools, so we can educate young people on the positives of not only driving, but other roles in the industry. We pro-actively speak to local colleges about opportunities and have students visit our main hub in Ellistown for work experience and placement days.

"Our increasing preference for online purchasing is fuelling growth in the sector, so we need to encourage the next generation to take the wheel and drive the industry forward."

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