Mobile Mini, a leading hirer of portable accommodation and secure storage solutions, is blazing a trail in solving the Heavy Goods Vehicle driver shortage, as it launches its fully-funded HGV Driver Development Programme.
With the need for additional drivers as a result of the expansion of their delivery truck fleet, rather than recruiting externally, Mobile Mini devised and implemented a bespoke training programme, open to existing employees across all 16 UK depots, stretching from Southampton to Glasgow.
The training programme was rolled out in 2016, at a cost of £4,000 per employee, following a warning that the great British trucker is in danger of disappearing from the nation’s roads. The Road Haulage Association says that it is short of 60,000 drivers, with an ageing workforce shedding another 40,000 by next year. Mobile Mini and the UK economy both depend on HGV drivers to deliver goods across the country and the RHA has estimated that the UK needs an extra 150,000 drivers by 2020.
This year, two Mobile Mini employees have completed the programme, which consists of a number of different elements including; Medical, Theory and Hazard Perception, Driver Training, Driver CPC Training, HIAB Training, Driver induction and road and crane mentoring. The programme is delivered using a mix of external training providers and Mobile Mini’s own internal transport and safety team.
As part of the company’s drive to constantly improve its operational efficiency; first class health and safety standards and its customer service, Mobile Mini will also invest a further £3.7m this year in its fuel efficient Scania delivery truck fleet. By the end of 2016 the fleet will include 50 lorry mounted loader crane vehicles, one of the largest of its kind in the UK.
The company has also successfully achieved a gold award for three consecutive years, for its fleet of HGV delivery vehicles in the 2015 Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), an initiative operated by Transport for London. The voluntary accreditation scheme, which aims to drive up standards amongst commercial vehicle operators throughout the UK, requires fleet operators to demonstrate meaningful improvements in safety, environmental impact and efficiency in order to be awarded the gold level.
Chris Morgan, UK Managing Director at Mobile Mini, commented: “The HGV driver shortage is not a problem that will disappear without employers recognising that they need to make a change, and we hope that companies will follow our lead to address the shortage.
“By offering our existing employees the chance to gain further driving qualifications, we’re ensuring that our fleet is staffed by fully-trained and committed individuals who understand our company ethos. This investment will help us meet our high customer service standards, guaranteeing a consistently first class and safe delivery every time.”