Youth First is a London-based charity that helps young people get into work.
With HGVC, Youth First will create a ‘HGV career pathway’ within its Youth Employment Scheme (YES), initially for 15 disadvantaged young people aged 17-19 over a year.
James Clifford, chief executive officer (CEO) of HGVC, said: “The average age of an HGV driver is around 50 years old. The industry often struggles to recruit and retain younger drivers. So, anything we can do to help to get younger people interested in HGV driving as a long-term career is a huge positive.
“The Youth Employability Scheme helps overcome a significant barrier to getting young people into the industry around the need to already have a driving license.
“What’s more, we’re delighted to do what we can to support a scheme which aims to help young, disadvantaged people who may come from difficult domestic environments and often face peer pressure to choose a less desirable path in life.
“We’d welcome any employer who’d like to support the scheme to get in touch.”
The scheme is designed for those from disadvantaged backgrounds in Lewisham, a borough in Southeast London.
Together with HGVC’s HGV driving course, the Youth Employability Scheme will provide the structure and the skills required to train to become HGV drivers.
The HGV career pathway helps 17–19-year-olds gain a driving licence while also preparing them for the world of work.
Local HGV employers will host taster days and those who gain their driving licence will be offered an induction to the HGV driving training programme.
Employers who need HGV drivers can apply to HGVC and Youth First to help fund the scheme and gain potential HGV drivers upon completion.
In addition, HGVC and Youth First are appealing to London-based employers who would like to support young people in Lewisham through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Mervyn Kaye, CEO at Youth First, said: “When the country is crying out for younger HGV drivers, our driving career pathway will help us train young people in rewarding careers while helping reduce the chance of later long-term unemployment.
“We hope retailers, logistics companies and local employers will help us improve Lewisham young people’s prospects by supporting them to obtain a driving license and gain practical insight into careers as an HGV driver.”