The government has announced a sweeping review of the Driver CPC to ease the current labour shortage and encourage more people to return to the profession.
The move comes after lobbying from industry bodies to extend the validity of any qualification expiring this year to retain drivers who may otherwise be tempted to retire or find alternative work.
The government also said it was identifying sites for short-term improvements to lorry parking and investing £500,000 to move an additional 29,000 lorry loads of freight to the railways.
It added that the DVLA had cleared over 40,000 HGV and vocational licence applications in just four weeks
Drivers currently need to undergo five days of periodic training every five years to ensure they remain fully qualified to drive heavy goods vehicles professionally. The training is an EU initiative and is compulsory within Driver CPC regime.
Some drivers are left to pay for the training themselves and are not paid whilst attending their course, deterring those who have left the profession from returning.
The government said the review will look at how the process can be updated to reduce the burden on drivers – both returning and new – and ensure it doesn’t act as a barrier to working in the sector.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ”We’re listening to industry leaders who have told us about the issues HGV drivers face with CPC arrangements. Now we’ve taken back control of our own laws and regulations, I’m delighted to say we’re launching a review into these training rules.
“We understand it’s vital for drivers to remain fully qualified – but we’re looking to ensure they can do so in the most efficient way possible whilst maintaining road safety standards. No driver should be out of pocket or out of work through no fault of their own.
“This is the latest in a raft of 30 measures we’ve taken to support this vital sector and encourage drivers to return to the job or kickstart a new career in the industry. These measures are working – there is no backlog of HGV licence applications and we’re seeing over a thousand more people than normal apply for a licence each week.”
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