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Skills for Logistics

Driver CPC: first anniversary

The application of the EU Driver CPC obligations on HGV drivers is now over a year old. From 10 September 2009 existing HGV licence-holders were obliged to attend a minimum of 35 hours of approved training during the five-year period ending 10 September 2014.

Dr Mick Jackson, chief executive of the freight logistics industry Sector Skills Council, Skills for Logistics, reports that

take-up on additional training during the first year has received a mixed reception. He says: “The last year has been tough for the economy and tough for the logistics sector. For larger employers, driver training has continued as a regular and fundamental element of driver development, and has continued to add value to both the personal performance and job satisfaction of individual drivers, and to the benefit of company operations.

“However, it appears that there is something of a delay in the organisation and take-up of training for drivers employed in

many smaller operations. This is perhaps not surprising, bearing in mind the pressures of the economic recession and

the stress on costs within all operations. But failure to maximise the skills and efficiency of drivers through a continuous

training process is a false economy, and a lost opportunity to improve the efficient and economic performance and productivity of any operation.”

The regulations require 35 hours of training to be taken at any time within the five-year period, or spread throughout

it. As such it would, theoretically, be possible to delay training until closer to the September 2014 deadline. However, Dr

Jackson warns against such an attitude: “Driver training must not be viewed just as a legal obligation, but also as a sensible

investment in the primary asset of any company – its people. All such investments must be expected to make a worthwhile

return, and this is no different.

“Delaying driver training is a dangerous practice and can only store up problems for the future. As well as failing to generate the benefits of improved performance by drivers, delays will inevitably lead to a logjam in the training backlog towards the end of the process, and could result in difficulties and shortages of training opportunities, as well as the inevitable problems of removing large numbers of drivers from operational duties all at once.

“The industry is already seeing signs of a shortage of HGV drivers, and this will be further complicated by the economic

recovery and the demand for more movement of goods. The clear message for all employers is to create a sensible and

practical schedule of driver training which not only takes account of both the statutory obligations of the Driver CPC regulations, but also maximises the efficiency of the driver to the enormous benefit of the operator.”

➼ Skills for Logistics recently reported a two-year high in the number of vacancies for HGV drivers and forecasts an increase in that trend.