// Dixons Carphone is offering a sign-on bonus of £1,500 to new drivers and a £1,500 retention bonus to existing drivers in a bid to gather new recruits
// The group will also meet the cost of training and tests to qualify for a C1 licence to drive 7.5 tonne trucks
Dixons Carphone, the owner of Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World, is offering a £1,500 retention bonus to lorry drivers and the same sum to new recruits in response to staff shortages.
Dixons Carphone is also offering staff who work elsewhere in the business who refer a friend for a driver vacancy a £1,000 reward and promising £1,500 to those willing to retrain to drive lorries.
In a further measure, the group will also meet the cost of training and tests to qualify for a C1 licence to drive 7.5 tonne trucks for anyone aged over 21 who has held a “category B” licence for more than a year.
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Candidates will complete their theory, Certificate of Professional Competence and their practical test while gaining valuable on-the-job training.
They will also be trained in health and safety and product installation, so they can put washing machines and cookers into people’s homes, if required.
Dixons Carphone chief supply chain officer Lindsay Haselhurst said: “Our drivers are a vital part of our operation – our ambassadors on the road who perform the mammoth task of replenishing, delivering and installing hundreds of thousands of products every week, serving our stores as well as our customers in their homes.”
The Dixons Carphone offer is the latest gambit in a battle for workers, while the heavy competition for drivers has already prompted Asda and Tesco to offer a £1,000 signing-on fee for HGV drivers and the dairy group Arla to offer a £2,000 bonus.
Logistics UK, which represents freight owners including supermarkets, has estimated a shortage of 90,000 HGV drivers, including about 25,000 from the EU who have left the country since Brexit.
There is also a backlog of 45,000 lorry driving tests, which are expected to lead to about 25,000 drivers becoming available.