Five ways to upskill your HGV drivers

Upskilling your drivers is important for numerous reasons. Road transport is a heavily regulated industry so there are naturally several mandatory training requirements, depending on the work being carried out. But more generally, it also promotes safe driving, reduces road collisions, and can help keep your workforce feel supported in their job. HGV training and recruitment expert, Driver Hire Training, has revealed some top tips for keeping your drivers’ skills fresh.

Training and upskilling your drivers is ultimately an investment in your people, and one of the best ways to motivate and get the best performance from your workforce is by helping them understand that their employer values them and wants them to improve. And although there is an aspect of compliance, through the mandatory Driver CPC training and various other qualifications, this should always be seen as an opportunity for growth rather than a burden, alongside other development opportunities.

Ultimately a skillset is vital, with HGV drivers in demand more than ever, employers should be focusing on ways to keep their staff happy and motivation high, as well as looking to attract the best talent in the area. Recent surveys have shown that companies that score highly on their employee development opportunities see 93% less attrition and this also tends to be a contributing factor within the businesses that rank highly in studies such as the Sunday Times Best Places to Work.

There’s a substantial amount that managers can do to upskill drivers, in driving and lots of other related things too, for example encouraging healthy lifestyles to training in first aid. Employers should think about the direct benefit to the business that such upskilling can provide, but also how the wider investment in people can aid each individual.

These are five ways to look to upskill your drivers:

1: Driver CPC

There is a legal requirement to meet the 35 hours of training every five years and if uncompleted, this can result in £1,000 fine. That said, such training should always be viewed as genuinely useful and a chance to gain new skills. With this in mind it’s important to make sure you’re willing to get the most out of your Driver CPC training courses, as if not you’re missing out on vital upskilling opportunities.

Some of the most popular CPC courses are around Drivers Hours, Digital Tachograph and Road Traffic Laws. There’s also a lot of interest in additional training such as Safe Urban Driving, City Driving and Vulnerable Road Users showing that people do want socially responsible training but also that these situations are often required standards for many operations.

2: Upgrade Licences

Upgrading licences so your drivers have the options to drive a variety of vehicles can be beneficial for a number of reasons, for example upgrading licences from just van work to larger vehicles such as artic lorries.

3: Specialist licences

It may be worth considering upskilling your workforce to drive specialist vehicles such as forklifts or ADR training for transporting dangerous good. This means your workforce has the versatility to handle a variety of transport issues and in turn, build greater flexibility into your operations.

4: First Aid Training

Training your staff in first aid can be extremely helpful for your staff, the company and for wider society. For instance, if your driver is the first at the site of an accident they can respond immediately and appropriately to any injuries and maybe even save a life.

5: Healthy Living Tips and Tricks

Keeping your workforce motivated to live a healthy lifestyle can be very worthwhile. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy habits when living between truck and service stations, but it also helps in understanding nourishing ways to live outside of work.

Employers can also consider looking for ways to upskill themselves in order to better support their drivers, such as engaging in accreditations like Investors in People. Organisations like the CIPD (Chartered institute of Personnel and Development) should be a go-to body for any HR professional or employer wanting to improve what they do in this area.

John Keelan-Edwards, Managing Director at Driver Hire Training, said: “Training and upskilling your employees to help them both in and out of work should be of the utmost importance for all employers. Investing in your people is one of the most vital things you can do, it helps both your brand as well as the people in your company as a business that wants to see their people succeed.

“There are so many ways to help upskill your drivers, from specialist licences to helping them lead healthy lifestyles. It’s also important to remember about your own development and constantly learning how as an employer you can be the best boss you can be, especially in an industry with high demand.”

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