Tom Dawson 2 (1)

Recycling firm FCC Environment is successfully tackling its driver recruitment problems by retraining and upskilling staff from inside its own workforce.

A year after launching an internal recruitment drive, eight candidates in Central Bedfordshire have completed their training and acquired HGV licences.

FCC Environment said some had begun as street operatives and were offered career progression and the opportunity to drive any of its vehicles, including those over 3.5-tonnes.

Sweeper operative Tom Dawson (pictured) was one of the candidates that answered the company’s call: “It’s been a really good move,” he said. “I’m very happy. I most enjoy being my own boss – deciding when to take a break for example. If you have driving experience, go for it. There will always be roles for drivers.”

The company said it had recognised that HGV drivers were essential to its business, which was why, alongside Central Bedfordshire Council, it launched the concerted recruitment campaign.

“We embarked on this process during the peak of the HGV driver crisis and I think investing in our own people and providing them with these career opportunities is key to combating these challenges,” said Jason Canepe, FCC Environment contract manager. “It helps us to keep providing high-quality services and gives our own employees the chance to gain new skills. Everyone’s a winner.”

The company added that even with its efforts, candidates still had to wait more than six months before they could get a slot to pass their practical tests, due to a combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic leading to both a change in immigration regulations and a testing backlog.