Driver recruitment

Monday, 06 July 2015.

Driver recruitment

Three former refuse collectors have swapped wheelie bins for a steering wheel as part of Cumbria Waste Group's bid to recruit new drivers.

Jo Quail, 21 from Keswick, Jonathan Beach, 32 from Kendal, and Chris Longton, 27, from Carnforth, are now fully qualified LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) drivers after receiving training provided by Cumbria Waste Group (CWG).

The trio will soon be followed by three more members of staff who are about to take their LGV test.

CWG introduced the training scheme in its response to a national shortage of LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) drivers.

Like many organisations involved in transport and logistics, the company often finds it difficult to recruit new drivers, with estimates suggesting that the UK will need an extra 150,000 drivers by the year 2020.

John Walmesley, CWG's Recycling & Collections Director, said: "The average age of a LGV driver is 53, which is much higher than the national average and whilst many are coming up to retirement there are not enough young people coming up to replace them.

"One of the main reasons for this is that it can cost over £2,000 to gain the necessary qualifications to become an LGV driver.

"Through our training scheme we are trying to attract new people by paying to put them through their qualifications and effectively providing them with a new skill.

"It is still only early days as far as our training is concerned but we are delighted that the first three people to undertake the training all successfully passed their LGV test first time and are now driving CWG vehicles, and three more are to take their test.

"We are now looking to recruit and re-train more drivers from other parts of our business, although we would still very much welcome external applications as well."

Jonathan said: "The intensive driver training course lasted just under a week but it was very enjoyable and I didn't have to pay a penny as Cumbria Waste paid for everything.

"It means I have come out of it with a completely new skill and am getting paid more money for the job I do. I think other people would be silly not to do it."

CWG first put its staff through a driving assessment to establish their suitability, but if they are successful their actual LGV training and test is paid for by the company.

Mr Walmesley added: "As well as paying for the training, other benefits of working as an LGV driver for CWG is that all driving is done within the county, so no overnight stays will are required, it is a varied day as we have sites across Cumbria and driving skills will improve as people tackle the country lanes and small roads."

Cumbria Waste Group, along with its sister company Orian Solutions, is holding two recruitment events later this month (July). The events are aimed at recruiting more drivers, as well as School Kitchen Team Leaders and Members, Cleaners and School Crossing Patrol Operatives.

The events, which are open to anyone, will be held:

Tuesday 14th July, from 2pm to 8pm – Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency, Redhills, Penrith, CA11 0DT
Wednesday 15th July, from 2pm to 8pm – Premier Inn, M6, J44, Carlisle.