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Skills For Sector Agency Looks To Address Inequality In Road Haulage

A recent survey carried out by Commercial Motor, the road transport industrys best-selling weekly magazine, found that 94% of drivers surveyed were obese with 74% having a waist measurement of over 40 inches.

The survey also found that 42% of respondents had high blood pressure and that 49% confessed to having high cholesterol levels. Whilst these statistics might not prove to be an asset to the industry’s human resources managers attempting to cajole prospective candidates to consider a career in road haulage, they certainly suggest that an increased intake of women into the profession might well, reduce the average girth of the country’s truckers.

Around 1.7 million people are employed in haulage and logistics in the UK and the industry has long suffered from a severe shortfall in the number of Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) drivers. A particular concern has been the lack of women entering the profession. With this in mind, Skills for Logistics, the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for the freight logistics industries, has launched a scheme designed to encourage women in Scotland to consider a career as a LGV driver via its women only driver training scheme.

Clearing the Mists of Myth

The programme seeks to dispel the myth that working as a LGV driver consists of long hours with jobs involving antisocial overnight stays. Skills for Logistics are keen to raise the number of women working as LGV drivers in Scotland, which currently stands at just two percent of the sectors workforce, by highlighting the benefits that the job offers. These can include a good salary, flexible hours, interesting work and the chance to be your own boss whilst out on the road.

Ian Hetherington, Chief Executive of Skills for Logistics, highlighted the success of a recent dry run of the programme that has resulted in the development of a female driver training scheme based on the existing Scottish Driver Training Scheme. “Following a truly successful pilot project aimed at finding out why women are reluctant to join the industry and addressing those reason(s), Skills for Logistics has created a training scheme that embraces the requirements of women,” he said. “We are pleased to announce that an initial 40 places are available and look forward to seeing even more women driving LGVs in the future.”

The training programme enables women over the age of 21 to obtain a Category C driving licence or upgrade to a Category C+E driving licence. In addition candidates will obtain a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) Level 2 in Driving Goods Vehicles. The training has been specifically developed for women and will be provided in a female only group.

Michael Lloyd

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