- With a large employment gap and driver shortage across the United Kingdom, large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers are in high demand.
- To become an LGV driver, there are certain training and licensing steps to follow and associated costs to pay.
- Some companies cover training and licensing costs to incentivize and recruit new drivers.
With a massive demand for drivers in the United Kingdom across many industries, it’s a great time to look into driving job opportunities. As part of mass recruitment strategies to fill the employment gap, many companies are providing new drivers with fully funded training options, such as apprenticeships or paid training.
This article discusses the qualifications to become a driver and which companies cover your training costs.
What Are Commercial Driving Jobs?
Working as a commercial driver comes with good salaries as well as opportunities to travel and experience other parts of the country. Some of the highest-earning commercial driving jobs include:
- Delivery driver: £30,359 average salary
- Dump truck driver: £33,279 average salary
- Truck or lorry driver: £37,822 average salary
- Van driver: £38,262 average salary
- Tanker driver: £40,765 average salary
- Bus driver: £21,665 average salary
With a shortage of approximately 100,000 commercial drivers in the United Kingdom, demand is high for new drivers. Many workers start as drivers and eventually work toward higher-earning positions, such as dispatchers or managers.
Licensing and Training for Commercial Drivers
For most commercial driving positions, you’ll need to satisfy certain licensing or training requirements. These usually include:
- Have a full vehicle license
- Be 18 years or older, in most cases
- Completed Certificate of Professional Competence training
- Have an HGV/LGV license
CPC training involves completing 35 hours of periodic training every five years as well as passing a two-part theory test, case study tests, a practical driving test and a driver CPC practice test. Each of these tests comes with a fee and is required before you can apply for an LGV license for the first time.
What Is the LGV License?
HGV refers to heavy goods vehicles, and the term is interchangeable with LGV, or large goods vehicle. The LGV license authorizes drivers to operate trucks, lorries or other vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes.
The categories of HGV or LGV licenses include:
- Category C+E: Vehicles over 7.5 feet with a detachable or separate trailer
- Category C: Vehicles over 7.5 feet with a rigid-based body, with trailers weighing up to 750 kilograms accepted
- C1: Vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 feet
- C1+E: The same as C1 but with the ability to tow a trailer exceeding 750 kilograms
Types of Funded Training
In addition to CPC test fees, drivers pay up to £3,000 in course fees for LGV training programs. However, you can get your training costs covered in a few ways. These options include:
- Apprenticeships: Combine practical training and study on the job, earning a reduced salary while your employer covers your training costs. Apprenticeships often become full-time roles.
- Paid training: Similar to apprenticeships, some companies pay new drivers a lower wage during training periods but obligate employees to continue working for them once their training is complete.
- Driving schools: Some companies offer course reimbursements or sponsorships for training taken at private driving schools.
- Skills boot camps: Funded by the government, free boot camps take about 16 weeks. You aren’t paid during the course.
Founded in 1969, DHL Supply Chain is a logistics company that provides courier, package and express mail services. It has 380,000 employees across 220 countries. In October 2021, the company announced the launch of Driving Ambition. This training program aims to remedy the United Kingdom’s national driver shortage by providing fully funded HGV/LGV training for applicants.
The Driving Ambition program provides candidates with free driving training valued up to £3,000 to obtain either a Category C or Category C+E license. The program aims to provide training to up to 1,000 candidates in 2022.
Dynamic Parcel Distribution, or DPD, is an international parcel delivery service. The company prides itself in providing employees with numerous benefits and rewards as well as initial training, driver CPC training and on-the-job training. Driver CPC training is offered to all 7.5-tonne and linehaul drivers to comply with European legislation.
DPD also offers apprenticeships for LGV drivers. The apprenticeship program takes place over 13 months, and successful apprentices earn their Category C and C+E licenses.
Founded in 1990, Poundland is a discount store chain with headquarters in Willenhall. Poundland is committed to developing employees and providing skill-development programs, professional qualifications and extensive apprenticeships.
In 2021, the chain announced a new recruitment strategy for LGV drivers. Although most entry LGV driver roles require applicants to already possess an LGV Class 2 license and a CPC card, Poundland now covers the full cost of an LGV Class 1 license and training course. Drivers who take advantage of these training benefits can drive articulated lorries. After obtaining a Class 1 license, drivers begin a 12-month training contract with Poundland.
The Bartrum Group
The Bartrum Group is a leading logistics solutions provider across the United Kingdom that offers full-load, part-load and pallet network distribution. To support ongoing quality service to its customers, The Bartrum Group provides fully funded driver training.
Successful applicants receive funded driver training while working full-time hours. In-training drivers also earn a full-time wage, creating high demand for this program. To qualify, applicants must satisfy the following conditions:
- Be 22 years of age or older
- Have had a UK license for five years
- Completed LGV medical
- Hold a Provisional LGV entitlement
- Completed theory and hazard perception test
- Apply for digital tachograph card.
Pertemps Driver Training
Pertemps Driver Training falls under Pertemps Network Group, a leading recruitment agency in the United Kingdom. Although the Driving Academy provides a variety of paid driver training programs, it announced a recruiting incentive in 2021 with the goal of attracting the next generation of LGV drivers.
Over 3,000 drivers have already taken advantage of funded training, which covers up to £5,000 in fees. In return for free training and ongoing training and education needs, candidates sign a contractual agreement to work with Pertemps for at least two years.
Moody Logistics and Storage
Based in Cramlington and operational since 1947, Moody Logistics and Storage is a transport, warehousing and logistics company. To encourage industry growth and quality customer service, the company offers LGV Class C apprenticeship programs to new drivers.
The apprenticeship program takes place over 6-to-12 months, during which apprentices shadow the driver team, work in the warehouse department and gain hands-on experience. The hourly wage during this period is £9.50, but drivers receive a standard driving wage, pension, profit share and health plan after training.
Serving over 25,000 locations, First Mile is London’s front-running recycling service. As a recruitment strategy for qualified collection drivers, First Mile provides sponsorship opportunities for drivers hoping to obtain their LGV license.
These full-time roles provide the opportunity to gain hands-on experience driving collection vehicles and collecting refuse and recycling sacks around London. Drivers receive 28 leave days per year and a £28,500 salary. Once drivers obtain their LGV license, they earn a standard driver’s rate up to £44,000 annually.
Certas Energy Driver Training Academy
Certas Energy is a fuel and lubricant distributor in the United Kingdom with a network of over 130 depots, 900 tankers and 2,300 employees. To promote training, development and compliance, the company launched the Driver Training Academy for its LGV drivers.
All driver training and license renewals are completed on company time and paid for by Certas Energy. New drivers receive 12 months of introductory training to reinforce driving skills.
The Driver Training Academy includes:
- Accredited CPC courses
- External training programs
- Training videos