New funding for the Road to Logistics programme
By Talent in Logistics Journal-
On 7 September 2019, the Department for Transport announced a £1 million funding pot to help the haulage sector increase its workforce and recruit new talent. The UK economy is reliant on transport and logistics and so it is vital the sector is future-proofed. Such futureproofing, however, is heavily dependent on there being a sustainable and reliable workforce in place.
Nationally, there is a shortage of drivers in the haulage sector and the Government hopes this funding boost will help tackle the shortage. Primarily this will be by providing greater support through the Road to Logistics programme, which helps people who might otherwise find it difficult to secure permanent employment. The Department for Transport’s investment will support logistics companies to run skills training programmes that will enable people such as armed forces veterans, the long-term unemployed and ex-offenders start careers in the haulage sector.
“Not only will this new programme help make the industry even stronger, but it will help pave the way for those who may be struggling to secure a permanent job and turn their lives around,” said Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport. The Road to Logistics scheme, founded by the Road Haulage Association and Microlise, was successfully trialled at HM Prison Sudbury and now aims to train 300 drivers in its first year. This aim is more likely to be met since the additional investment was made available.
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, said: “It is fantastic that the Government is supporting an initiative that will help to resolve the shortage of drivers whilst providing a helping hand for those that need it the most. ”
This programme is one of several interventions by the Government seeking to break down barriers for those who struggle to find long-term employment. It is hoped that this creative solution will help reduce unemployment rates and address workforce shortages as well as providing groups of individuals with opportunities that have previously been unavailable to them.