A woman driver behind at the wheel of a truck, being instructed.

A campaign to recruit additional vocational driving examiners in England and Wales to help reduce the lorry driver shortage has been launched by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) today (17 August).

However, the successful candidates will have to carry out car driving tests for four months before they can qualify to carry out HGV driving tests.

Forty new vocational examiners will be recruited, drawn from existing DVSA employees and external candidates, to help tackle the huge backlog in tests created by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

The DVSA said it is also working on ways to maximise testing capacity, including streamlining the process for drivers to gain their HGV licence and increasing the number of vocational driving tests from a pre-pandemic level of 2,000 to 3,000 a week, by getting its examiners to work overtime and by re-allocating more DVSA employees into testing.

DVSA chief executive Loveday Ryder said: “We recognise the haulage industry keeps the wheels of our economy turning and have listened to its concerns about the current lorry driver shortage.

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“We have responded by doing all we can to support the industry in tackling this issue through increasing lorry driver testing.

“This includes our latest campaign to recruit more vocational examiners so we can maximise our lorry testing capacity.”

Roads Minister, Baroness Vere, said: “Our HGV drivers provide a vital service delivering food, medicine and other vital goods to where they’re needed. That’s why we’re committed to working with industry to address the shortage of drivers and have unveiled a package of robust measures.

“Increasing the DVSA’s testing capacity is a crucial part of this plan, and I’d encourage anyone with the right experience to apply for a role – helping keep our country moving.”

The deadline for applications is 11.55pm on Thursday 2 September. Applicants for the role of examiner need a full Cat CE driving licence and successful candidates will carry out car driving tests for four months after their training before moving on to vocational tests.

More information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/s4fwdpts