The road haulage industry as a whole is experiencing a skills shortage. And it is anticipated that within the next five years Scotland could face a shortage of up to 25,000 drivers. Fife Council, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and local Job Centres have been working closely to ensure that people from across Fife gain the skills and qualifications required to secure employment in the industry.


A group of unemployed Fifers have been improving their chances of finding work in HGV driving thanks to a ground breaking Transport Skills Sector Academy currently being run by Fife Council in conjunction with the RHA.


Fife’s latest and newest Transport Academy helped participants to receive training on road skills to complement their industry specific training. Training like this is of national importance in response to a significant skills shortage in the Transport sector.


The Road Haulage Sector Skills Academy, is giving eight candidates the opportunity to learn skills in a range of different driving techniques, delivering relevant health and safety training and environmental awareness, organised by Fife Councils’ Employability Services and the RHA.


Both the RHA and Fife Council’s “Fife Job Contract” co-fund this initiative and the Fife Job Contract Team have recruited candidates directly from job centres.


At the Academy’s Celebration Event on the 6th April at the Skills Development & Conference Centre in Kirkcaldy, Brian Kenny, National Transport Manager from the RHA, said: “We are extremely proud of the work that Fife Council and its staff have put into helping them demonstrate the benefits of working in road haulage. It’s clear to us that the enthusiasm and determination demonstrated by these trainees will serve any employer well and that the road haulage industry in Fife will be all the better for it.”


Lucinda McAllister, Employability Service Manager said, “This is a fantastic opportunity working closely with The Road Haulage Association on this brand new Academy to provide skills and training within the industry. With the ongoing support provided by Fife Council and the Road Haulage Association I am sure that all the clients will be successful in their chosen career pathway.”


Once the Academy participants are prepared to start their driving training they will be employed by the RHA’s members. A number of the RHA’s members are supporting this initiative by offering the Academy participants employment whilst undergoing their training. The group undertake work experience with various employers throughout Fife. This training increases their industry knowledge and provides hands-on experience to help them confidently secure jobs with these employers.


Grahams Dairies have already recruited from the Academy. Valerie Calder, HR Manger, said “ This initiative is a fantastic, very positive response to addressing a huge gap in the transport industries shortage of drivers nationally, and we are delighted to be part of it, and have recruited one of its participants into our organisation.”


Councillor Altany Craik said “It is always a pleasure to see policies in action and the impact it is having on real lives, helping people into high quality jobs such as these professional drivers’ posts, is what the Employability service does, and this Academy covers this precisely.”


Original article posted here.

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