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Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Truck driver training offers ‘second chance’

By Vaseline May30,2024

Image source, Jamie Niblock/BBC

Image caption, Paul Brown said training to become a truck driver had always been a dream but was previously unaffordable

  • Author, Rachael McMenemy
  • Role, BBC News, Suffolk

A free truck driver training program said it had given people struggling to find work a chance at success.

Founded during the pandemic, Road to Logistics offers free training to those in long-term unemployment, ex-offenders, veterans, the homeless and those with neuro-diverse or mental health conditions.

More than 80% of the approximately 400 people trained so far were now working full-time as drivers.

Paul Brown, one of the interns, said it had helped him achieve his dream.

Mr Brown said he was unemployed and struggling with his mental health before he was referred to the scheme through his local job center, with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contributing to the costs.

He said: “It’s been a dream since I was 18, but I never had the money for it. That was one of the problems in achieving the dream, but finally I’m here.”

The Road to Logistics team was “amazing,” he said, and provided ongoing support.

“When I got in the training truck I loved it and just wanted to go again.”

Road to Logistics plans to create a hub in Suffolk to match the volume of transport work associated with Felixstowe Port, the A14 and the construction of Sizewell C.

Programs are currently running in Felixstowe and Ipswich, as well as Hollesley Bay and Highpoint prisons.

Image source, Jamie Niblock/BBC

Image caption, Jennifer Swain, from Road to Logistics, said the program proved that removing barriers helped people succeed

Jennifer Swain, from Road to Logistics, said: “Of the more than 400 people we trained, 83% are now in full-time employment.

“But given that we’re training people who are often marginalized and often overlooked for work, for one reason or another, it shows that if you make reasonable adjustments and give the right support, you remove the barriers and many will succeed.”

Julia Nix, from Jobcentre Plus East Anglia, said these types of programs helped more than just the person receiving the training.

She said: “It’s a huge amount of money to find the savings (to train) when you have a family or are on a low wage.

“If we can help them get off benefits and get them to work, with perhaps an even more substantial amount of money, they and their families can get out of poverty.”

Image source, Jamie Niblock/BBC

Image caption, Adam Searle said the training gave people a second chance

CP Transport in Ipswich has partnered with Road to Logistics to offer training.

Managing director Adam Searle said: ‘Some people are just unlucky, have had a bad start in life and are now being given a second chance at a good career with good earnings, and a career path that will keep them in work for years to come. come.”

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