An employee from the Southampton depot of Mobile Mini, a leading hirer of portable accommodation and secure storage solutions, is blazing a trail in solving the Heavy Goods Vehicle driver shortage and driving his career forward, as the first employee to complete Mobile Mini’s new, fully-funded HGV Driver Development Programme.
With the need for additional drivers as a result of the expansion of their delivery truck fleet, rather than recruiting externally, Mobile Mini devised and implemented a bespoke training programme, open to existing employees across all 16 UK depots, stretching from Southampton to Glasgow.
The training programme was rolled out in 2016, at a cost of £4,000 per employee, following a warning that the great British trucker is in danger of disappearing from the nation’s roads. The Road Haulage Association says that it is short of 60,000 drivers, with an ageing workforce shedding another 40,000 by next year. Mobile Mini and the UK economy both depend on HGV drivers to deliver goods across the country and the RHA has estimated that the UK needs an extra 150,000 drivers by 2020.
Dwayne Mitch, 32 from Southampton, is the first Mobile Mini employee to complete the programme, which consists of a number of different elements including: Medical, Theory and Hazard Perception, Driver Training, Driver CPC Training, HIAB Training, Driver induction and road and crane mentoring. The programme is delivered using a mix of external training providers and Mobile Mini’s own internal transport and safety staff.
Dwayne commented: “I previously worked at Mobile Mini as a Fitter, but when the company rolled out the fully funded HGV driver programme, I jumped at the chance to enrol. It’s something I have wanted to do for years and this offered me the chance to expand my skills and qualifications.
“I wouldn’t have been able to pay the high training costs on my own as I have my wife, two children and a mortgage to pay for, but they were over the moon when I told them I had been accepted onto the course. It took around four months to complete and I got my licence on the 8th April 2016. Now thanks to Mobile Mini, I’m on the road and love my new career path.”
Mobile Mini will also invest a further £3.7m this year in its fuel efficient Scania delivery truck fleet, as part of the company’s drive to constantly improve its operational efficiency, first class health and safety standards, and customer service. By the end of 2016, Mobile Mini will have a total fleet of 50 lorry mounted loader crane vehicles, one of the largest of its kind in the UK.”
The company has also successfully achieved a gold award for three consecutive years, for its fleet of HGV delivery vehicles in the 2015 Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), an initiative operated by Transport for London. The voluntary accreditation scheme, which aims to drive up standards amongst commercial vehicle operators throughout the UK, requires fleet operators to demonstrate meaningful improvements in safety, environmental impact and efficiency in order to be awarded the gold level.