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Free HGV driver training places up for grabs in bid to bridge skills gap

'It’s vitally important that we continue to deliver initiatives that not only meet the needs of the borough’s labour market but also improve employability outcomes for local people'

From left, Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul Greenfield, council enterprise development manager Sarah Jane Macdonald and chair of the economic and development committee Alderman Ian Burns.

Up to 80 free places are available for anyone interested in becoming a HGV driver.

The scheme has been set up partly by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council to help tackle the labour shortage and bridge the skills gap in the local transport and logistics sector.

Under the ABC HGV Training and Employment Academy, successful applicants will receive fully funded training and employment support as they work towards obtaining their HGV licence (Class 1 or Class 2).

A job interview with a local employer is also guaranteed on successful completion.

This initiative was first introduced earlier this year following the establishment of the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership – a joint public/private sector scheme to address employability and skills provision for those looking for work and employers.

Welcoming the return of the academy, Lord Mayor Councillor Paul Greenfield said: “With the chronic shortage of HGV drivers a barrier to the borough’s economic growth, the ABC HGV Training and Employment Academy is a step in the right direction to ensuring a sustained pipeline of critically-needed skilled HGV drivers in the short and long-term.

“As a lead partner in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Labour Market Partnership, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to provide this fantastic opportunity to local people who are looking for work as they map out a new career path in the transport and logistics sector.

“It’s vitally important that we continue to deliver initiatives that not only meet the needs of the borough’s labour market but also improve employability outcomes for local people.”

Successful applicants will be able to avail of a one-day theory lesson, 25 hours of online training; a theory test; and five-day practical lesson (including test) over one week.

Following successful completion of the theory and practical tests, applicants will attend a one-day employability session and one-to-one mentoring, including help with updating their CV and preparing for interview, after which they will be invited to attend interviews with local employers.

Applicants must be available to attend all sessions, with the training carried out in the Craigavon area.

To be eligible,  applicants must reside in the borough; be willing to undertake a medical examination; hold a valid UK driving licence and fulfil one of the following criteria: not be in paid work, work less than 16 hours a week or be at risk of redundancy.

The closing date is 5pm on Friday, September 9.

To find out more, visit armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/hgvacademy

To register your interest, contact the delivery agent People 1st on 028 3834 7000 or email academy@people-1st.co.uk.

 

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