// 11,000 people could be trained to become HGV drivers as the first free intensive short courses begin
// The Department of Education has said it had received more than 2,000 applications for HGV driver training already.
The government has said that up to 11,000 people could be trained to become HGV drivers as the first free intensive short courses get under way.
Free ‘Skills Bootcamps’ in HGV driving have opened up across the country to help speed-up the training process in an attempt to address the UK’s driver shortage.
People that successfully complete the HGV courses are guaranteed a job interview with an employer, and the first drivers are expected to be on the road from March 2022.
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The courses will also support existing drivers to refresh or upgrade their skills so they can to get back on the road.
The Department of Education said that the 11,000 new places are backed by £34 million.
Over 2,000 people have already expresses an interest in signing up with the National Career Service.
To ensure more people can take their test sooner, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is also making capacity available for 500 more HGV driving tests a week, equivalent to up to 26,000 more per year.
“HGV drivers are vital to keeping this country moving,” said education secretary Nadhim Zahawi.
“It’s brilliant to see the first people with their hands on the steering wheel as they head towards new well-paid careers in the industry.
“To help even more people get the training they need to be road ready, we’re expanding our HGV Skills Bootcamps to support more than 11,000 people to gain the skills they need to progress in the industry, and to help those with previous experience refresh their skills so they can get back on the road.”