Bid To Attract Young Lorry Drivers

From 10 September 18-year-olds will be allowed to drive lorries. That is if they have an HGV training certificate or any other certificate which entitles that they have complete knowledge and the drivers licence to drive such heavy trucks. Until now the minimum age for LGV drivers was 21 but the age has been lowered across the EU to try and encourage more young people into the industry. 18-year-old Adam works for his Dad’s waste company. He’s been helping out, knowing it would be a while before he got to drive the lorries himself. Until now. He said: “I was over the moon that I could do it. It’s just better money, it’s just better everything. It means more responsibility.” An extra qualification has also been brought in to give more training to those wanting to get their licence. It’s called a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) and all professional lorry drivers will have to hold one. Adam says the lessons are hard: “They make you reverse into really tight gaps, it’s quite nerve-wracking. You’ve got to drive around narrow streets, you feel a bit worried about what you’re doing. But it’s all good.” DRIVING EXPERIENCE So even with all this extra training, is 18 still too young to get behind the wheel of a vehicle this size? Adam doesn’t think so: “I should be alright because I’ve got more driving experience anyway. Driving this means I should be a better driver for later on in the future.” Jo Tanner from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) doesn’t think it’s too young either. She said: “You don’t get many people trying to do a hand-brake turn in an HGV. There are no boy racers behind the wheel of an HGV truck but there may well be behind the wheel of a souped-up hatchback.” But the FTA is concerned about how many jobs are out there for those teenagers who get their licence. It says there are a lack of positions out there now. Jo says this should improve once the recession’s over: “Sadly there have been an awful lot of redundancies in the industry, so when the recession is over we’re concerned there’ll be a severe skills shortage because the older drivers will have gone into retirement. So having these younger drivers come in now and get trained up, so they’ll be ready and raring to go when the jobs are there, is great news.” Taken from BBC/Newsbeat