A partnership in Scotland, between the RHA and logistics recruitment specialist, Driver Hire, is helping former workers from the off-shore oil and gas industry start new careers in road transport.

“Whilst still a major employer in Scotland, the oil & gas industry has been shedding jobs for a number of years,” said Sharon Cumming, area manager for the RHA in Scotland.

“At the same time opportunities in the road transport industry are growing, with an increasing demand for goods vehicle drivers. We were successful in securing funding from the Transition Training Fund – managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS). To date it’s proving to be a great success with 66 drivers completing their training, several of whom have gone on to find full time work.”

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The cost of acquiring an HGV licence is around £2,500 making free training an attractive opportunity.

All oil and gas workers and those who are on the supply chain to oil & gas, who are resident in Scotland, and have either lost their job or are threatened with redundancy since 2015, are eligible. Free training through the scheme will be available until the end of this year, with Skills Development Scotland being a key funder.

As well as driving, the scheme also offers free training in transport management, safety and Driver CPC ‘train the trainer’ courses.

The RHA has linked up with two Driver Hire offices - in Aberdeen and Inverness. The offices take the drivers onto their books and find work for them. This is on a temporary basis but it can lead to a permanent position.