HGV training scheme needs ‘a steer in right direction’ says former ABC Lord Mayor

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A former Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has urged the local authority to give its HGV employment and training academy a better steer.

Alderman Glenn Barr said the scheme was one he launched during his time as Lord Mayor and one was one he had high hopes for.

However, as of January this year, only three people who graduated from the scheme have secured employment.

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The highly publicised scheme has – thanks to the council’s efforts working closely with the area’s labour market partnerships – has been available to 85 residents of the borough during this period.

Alderman Glenn BarrAlderman Glenn Barr
Alderman Glenn Barr

People in the programme delivered by People 1st and the Henderson Group, receive HGV training and testing within the borough and an opportunity to attend an interview with a local company or organisation.

Addressing the scheme at March’s monthly meeting of the local authority, Ald Barr said he believed it is a “fantastic scheme” but said it could do with “a steer in the right direction” to begin producing the results anticipated when it first launched.

“I know when I was Lord Mayor I got the opportunity to launch the HGV scheme and it is a fantastic scheme,” he said.

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“However, I have had someone in touch with me noting they were not able to get on to it even though they were working with the third party that was helping to deliver it.

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“I do think we as a council need to have a bit more of a constructive conversation, maybe through the committee, with all the data in place to be able to steer it in the right direction.

“It is a fantastic opportunity being missed and I think we should be steering it in the right direction,” he said.