Pall-Ex is tackling HGV driver shortages across its network by launching a nationwide Driver Drive.
The logistics firm has created a new central website that allows qualified drivers to apply for jobs anywhere across its network.
Available roles include class one and two HGV drivers, forklift truck operators and van drivers.
The East Midlands-based palletised distribution network is launching the drive to coincide with the Road Haulage Association’s National Lorry Week (16th – 22ndSeptember).
The annual event is a celebration of the sector and is designed to raise the profile of careers in the logistics industry.
The industry’s ageing workforce is fuelling a growing shortage of drivers; research from workers’ union Unite revealed that just 1% of the UK’s HGV drivers are aged under 25, while average driver age is increasing.
It was recorded at 48 in 2016 – up from 45.3 in 2001 – with 13% of drivers aged 60 and over.
Kevin Buchanan, Group managing director at Pall-Ex, comments: “Pall-Ex as a network needed a recruitment resolution that would benefit all members, as many are struggling to fill driving roles.
“We receive a lot of requests via our social media platforms about job opportunities with our members across the country. It became apparent that one central location that allows candidates to apply for a range of driving jobs with companies that are part of our network would be beneficial to all parties.
“Available roles are for drivers who already hold a Class 1 or 2 HGV licence, or a counter-balance licence, and are looking for new opportunities. However, we do have a forklift truck academy where drivers can access a full training programme, which is currently available at our central hub in Ellistown.”
The logistics industry moves around 1.41 billion tonnes of goods annually, according to the latest statistics from the Department for Transport, making it the UK’s fifth largest employer.
Despite this, it continues to face recruitment issues, particularly when it comes to driving roles.
Kevin adds: “We need the scope of jobs that are available and the opportunities for progression to become more widely known, as attracting the younger generation is becoming more challenging.
“There is also a major cost associated with driver training, which is limiting access to potential candidates. We fully support calls for improved access to training, apprenticeships and grants that can help young people start their careers in the industry.
“We want logistics to be a talking point in schools, so we can educate young people on the positives of not only driving, but other roles in the industry. We pro-actively speak to local colleges about opportunities and have students visit our main hub in Ellistown for work experience and placement days.
“Our increasing preference for online purchasing is fuelling growth in the sector, so we need to encourage the next generation to take the wheel and drive the industry forward.”