Call to tackle HGV driver crisis

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is seeking to secure funding to provide a HGV training programme in a bid to address what has been described as a ‘crisis’.

It’s one of a range of employability supports the local authority is seeking funding to provide.

The confirmation of Council’s intentions comes following a request from DUP group leader Councillor Mark Baxter during the Council’s monthly meeting on September 27.

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Cllr Baxter noted Council has applied for £330,000 of funding from the Department for Communities’ labour market partnership fund and asked if some of that funding could be used to cover the fee required to obtain an HGV licence.

Cllr Mark Baxter.Cllr Mark Baxter.
Cllr Mark Baxter.

“Could a strand of that potential funding be used to up skill and train people throughout the community to get a HGV licence,” asked Cllr Baxter.

“It is a very costly licence to get, I think it is something like £2,500 and we are at crisis point at the minute across the community in terms of a lack of HGV drivers.”

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting, Cllr Baxter said he is of the belief that even if this funding cannot be used in such a way, Council should still seek to invest in its citizens.

“I think Council should roll out a scheme to put those citizens who want to do it, through their HGV test,” he said.

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