Small business owners across the UK are currently engaged in stiff competition for a limited pool of LGV drivers capable of transporting their valuable cargo. Since the pool of available drivers is not expected to keep up with demand over the next few years, finding and retaining the best is that much more important. LGV training is part of that equation.
It’s true that new drivers need to bring an LGV license to the table when applying for a professional driving job. But as the employer, what is your responsibility after the hire? It is to continue ongoing LGV training on behalf of your drivers, your customers, and other drivers on the road.
LGV training should not be a one-time thing a driver only goes through when earning his or her license. And in fact, UK law was recently changed to ensure some sort of remedial training every few years. However, small business owners should seriously consider going above and beyond the law in terms of their training programs. They should consider an ongoing training program that keeps drivers at their best at all times.
What a business gains from ongoing training
An ongoing LGV training program benefits small businesses in a number of ways. First and foremost is the Idea of competing for contracts. In this day and age of austerity, each contract is a precious commodity logistics and transport companies cannot afford to lose. But in order to win contracts companies need to offer the best trained and most highly skilled drivers on the road.
A company-wide training program is an essential tool in doing just that. By making sure drivers are always improving their skills and keeping up with changing times, companies know they have the best chance at winning new contracts
Other benefits of ongoing LGV training include:
- a sense of satisfaction among drivers fuelled by the company giving back something of value
- a sense of loyalty among drivers; toward both their company and their peers
- the ability for drivers to learn new skill sets
- a larger number of available contracts through diverse skill sets
From the perspective of the LGV driver, ongoing training offers opportunities for advancement, increased confidence while on the road, and a sense of accomplishment above and beyond the daily routine. Drivers who receive regular training also tend to be safer behind the wheel.
Working with a training centre
Some small businesses prefer to develop in-house training programs administered by a fleet manager or training manager. However, in-house programs can be expensive and difficult to maintain. Thankfully, the option exists to collaborate with a training centre that offers special programs for corporate clients.
The key to finding a training centre is to know the needs of the individual business and what a specific training centre offers in relation to those needs. For example, a logistics company dealing primarily with lorries and over-the-road cargo transport should be looking for a training centre with a heavy emphasis on this type of driving. Remedial training courses offered by the centre must target the specific needs of the lorry driver.
Furthermore, working with corporate clients should be an integral part of the training centre’s business rather than just ‘side business’. Small businesses need the same level of commitment HGV training centres give to their individual clients. Without that commitment, a training program can easily become nothing more than an unrelated collection of courses that do not really help drivers in the long run.
When a small business and training centre can successfully work together, the interests of both companies are best served. In turn, the ongoing training produces better LGV drivers who are safer, more efficient, more productive, and more varied in their skills. It is a situation in which everyone wins.
See also: How to become a driving instructor