DHL Supply Chain has launched Driving Ambition, a new training programme which aims to train 1,000 HGV drivers in 2022.

Driving Ambition offers candidates free driver training worth up to £3,000 to obtain either a Category C licence or a C+E licence.

The programme is open to new recruits with no commercial driving experience through to those wanting to upskill from a C+E licence. Training will take place at dedicated transport training centres set up in the South East, Avonmouth, Crick, Worksop and Bellshill.

All new employees will be invited to join DHL’s pension scheme, along with accessing a range of exclusive benefits such as mortgage advice, online tutoring for children and a free online GP service, plus retail and supermarket discounts of up to 10%.

Marks & Spencer has backed the programme and is inviting its staff to take the opportunity to retrain.

The programme has already been trialled with internal candidates and to date 250 people have completed the training programme.

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A key aim of the programme is to encourage a wider pool of diverse candidates into the industry.

Ian Clough, MD of transport at DHL Supply Chain UK, said: “The supply chain industry is facing a huge shortage of drivers. One of the most important steps we can take to solve this for the long-term starts at grass roots by encouraging and enabling people to pursue a career in logistics.

“By investing in someone’s future, and offering them the opportunity to be trained and ultimately become a qualified LGV driver, we’re hoping to attract as broad an audience as possible.

“New recruits will be welcomed into the wonderfully diverse DHL family and we’re very much encouraging applications from people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those underrepresented in the industry, such as women and the ex-military.”

Roads Minister Baroness Vere added: “This is a fantastic initiative and I fully support DHL as they encourage UK workers to kick-start a rewarding and lucrative career in our vitally important road haulage industry. We will continue to do all we can to help industry leaders boost driver recruitment numbers, improve job opportunities right across the country, and address the problems caused by this global issue."

Further information on the training courses can be found at: www.dhl.com/ukidrivingambition with existing LGV vacancies can be found at www.dhl.com/ukidrivers or text DHL to 66777