Think Positive. Be Positive.

If you take a quick trawl through any HGV social media group or forum, it won’t be long before you see negative comments on the industry. It’s disappointing that this negativity is still so obvious, when the industry needs as many new drivers as possible and opportunities are plentiful.

I spent time recently looking at some of the comments in the Professional HGV Drivers UK group on Facebook and I quickly picked up a negative vibe.  I saw potential new drivers asking their peers for advice. They want to know if it’s a career worth investing in, what kind of lifestyle to expect and whether they’ll find a job easily.

Sadly, many of the responses they received were less than favourable.  Drivers already in employment were responding with comments like these:

“It isn’t a job for a family man.  Don’t expect much of a home life”

 “I wouldn’t bother”

 “Start off with agency work because hardly anyone employs new drivers.  It’ll be rubbish, but do 6 months of it to just gain experience”

Whilst not all of the comments I saw were negative, there are definitely some drivers painting a pretty sad picture of what to expect and there was certainly a recurring theme of negativity that worried me.

There is a general impression among the driver workforce that jobs are hard to come by, especially for new drivers.  People asking for advice were offered the opinion that really, the only option available to them after qualifying is to take poorly paid, zero-contract agency work and just hope for the best in the future.

At The HGV Recruitment Centre, we’re working really hard to change the mindset in the industry and to do away with this negativity.  It might have been the case in the past that employers preferred drivers with years of experience, but the reality these days is very different.  I talked in my last article about there being a definite mindset shift among employers in the logistics industry.

There are now loads of great employers who are embracing new drivers as the way forward for their business.  They’re offering the training and support needed to get drivers on their way, as well as decent, long-term career opportunities.

It is no longer the case that unpredictable, short-term agency work is all that a new driver should expect. Quite the opposite.  Drivers are highly in demand, which means employers are upping their game to welcome and reward loyal, motivated new drivers into their workforce.

As a very current example, we’ve recently worked with a huge 3PL company, in conjunction with a national supermarket, to recruit 45 newly qualified drivers across three sites in the South East and South West of England. This employer provided a month-long induction, driver buddying, additional training and a permanent job for each of the new drivers taken on.

This doesn’t sound like a picture of negativity to me.  It sounds like a bright future.  And this is just one example of many.

We see lots of success stories like this on a monthly basis.  The drivers we place are finding rewarding employment with employers who understand what is needed to attract, support and retain good people, regardless of their level of experience. They’re literally off and rolling and have never looked back.

It’s great to see the mindset of employers shifting, but it would be even better to hear the same level of positivity from drivers actually working in the sector too.  Collectively, we need to champion this industry and welcome new drivers with open arms.

Don’t listen to the doubters, this is an industry that is going places.  Literally.

If you already work with new drivers and want to share your experience or are keen to start a conversation about bringing new drivers into your team, then give me a shout. I would love to hear from you.

Marc Fels

Development, Employer News, News

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