More than 1,300 HGV driving trainees on the government-funded HGV Skills Bootcamps scheme have passed their practical test since April this year, helping to tackle the UK's ongoing lorry driver shortage.

According to new data from the Driver Academy Group consortium more than 800 of those Bootcamp trainees who passed their practical test have had an interview and are in jobs, or have secured an offer and will be employed by September - with many returning to their existing employer as HGV drivers or drivers with additional skills. 

Since April the Skills Bootcamps have trained a total of around 2,000 drivers under the scheme, including more than 1,300 trainees that have passed their practical test. In addition, nearly 1,700 drivers have passed their theory test.  

When the £34m scheme was launched in 2021 the original target was to bring around 11,000 HGV drivers, a combination of drivers returning to the industry and new drivers obtaining their first HGV licence.

Nearly 650 drivers are already in jobs with employers, including logistics businesses, retailers and supply chain firms.

Another 150 have secured job offers and expect to be in employment by September. Qualified drivers are currently securing starting salaries of up to £40,000.

The newly qualified drivers are a mix of novice drivers who have gained their Category C or Category C+E HGV licence and existing HGV drivers who have gained new skills.

Drivers with new skills include those who have passed specialist licences, such as the ADR or PDP, to deliver hazardous goods and fuel, helping employers train employees with essential skills.  

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The Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving are open to anyone with a car licence aged 19 and over. The training courses are available at 60 locations across the country.

The Driver Academy Group, which is led by HGV training specialist HGVC and includes Manpower and Logistics UK, delivers the partially funded courses for employers, with 70% of the fees funded through Department for Education (DfE) funding and the rest provided by employers.   

James Clifford, HGVC chief executive, said: “The government’s Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving have been a lifeline for the industry, helping both individual candidates and employers get the funding they need to help get behind the wheel.

“As the long-term driver shortage continues, the government’s Skills Bootcamps in HGV Driving shows that there continue to be thousands of people in the UK who want to become lorry drivers and many employers who want to develop their people. With the recent extension to the scheme, we’re training even more and helping keep Britain moving.”  

Interested employers and candidates can apply here: