It’s no secret that the haulage industry faces a widening skills gap. A combination of rapidly growing demand, rising cost of getting licensed and slow wage growth has resulted in a huge number of empty jobs with, relatively speaking, only a trickle of new workers to fill them. As demand for haulage continues to grow, it looks like the problem will only worsen. |
Synergy of Haulage Industry and Ex-Services
In an attempt to close the gap, while also rehabilitating vulnerable ex-services personnel, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) is working in conjunction with Care after Combat and Microlise to help ex-services, many of which have great difficulty adjusting to civilian life. Care after Combat works in many different areas of veterans’ support, including support for those affected by alcohol abuse and programmes intended to rehabilitate veterans who have been incarcerated, with a view to reducing reoffending rates among veterans.
Microlise, a telematics firm, has been tasked with managing the training of prospective drivers. Interested veterans will be put in touch by Care after Combat, who are in contact with many veterans starting to return to civilian work. After completing their training, the new drivers will be assigned to vacant roles by the RHA.
A Mutually Beneficial Partnership
If successful, this scheme will rehabilitate ex-services personnel, giving them the confidence, the independence and the skills to work in the civilian sector, while also bringing in new haulage workers to help close the skills gap the industry now faces. Many people with military training and experience will also have some experience loading and driving HGVs and other large vehicles, meaning that many of the new workers will already have a significant amount of experience in a similar field. As with any such scheme, candidates will be chosen carefully and only those ready to engage in civilian haulage work will be accepted. Operators therefore do not need to worry about the suitability of candidates, as this will be ensured ahead of time.
Ready to Ride the Road to Logistics
The scheme is named Road to Logistics, and it has great potential for both veterans and the logistics industry: the scheme promises to develop the confidence and skills of vulnerable ex-military people, helping them to integrate back into civilian life and have the valuable structure that comes with regular employment, while the logistics industry stands to gain skilled workers, who are already used to operating within a highly organised framework.
It is my hope that Road to Logistics will be well-managed and supported enough to deliver on its promises, as the success of this scheme would mean a vast improvement in quality of life for ex-services personnel as well as an excellent source of labour - something that’ll be especially important as demand for logistics work continues to rise.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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