In response to the debilitating HGV driver’s shortage, the UK government introduced several programs through which aspiring lorry drivers can get an HGV licence for free.
If you’re looking to become a lorry driver, here’s where you can find a suitable programme and how to get a HGV licence for free.
An HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) licence is a Class 2 lorry licence that allows you to drive a lorry over 7.5t and up to 32 tonnes.
Anyone who’s 18 or older and has a full car licence is eligible for an HGV licence.
Depending on the size and the type of vehicle, there are several different HGV licence categories, including C, C+E, C1, D, and ADR.
The first step toward becoming a certified HGV driver is getting your HGV provisional licence, also known as a provisional Category C or Class 2 licence.
After you decide on the type of HGV licence, you’ll need to order a D2 and a D4 form. The D2 form is the application form, which you need to fill out. The D4 form is filled out by your GP.
Once that’s done, you can send the forms to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency).
You can then apply for CPC or Certificate of Professional Competence, which consists of a:
After you’ve qualified, you’ll be sent a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence card, which you’ll need to drive an HGV professionally.
Worth noting: All HGV drivers are required to take periodic training of 35 hours every 5 years (or every year after they turn 65) to keep their licence.
An HGV licence costs around £250 (assuming you don’t fail any of the tests).
However, this figure doesn’t include practical training, which can range anywhere between £2,000 and £4,000.
Luckily, there is now a way you can get HGV training for free in the UK.
The COVID pandemic exacerbated the existing HGV driver’s shortage, prompting the government to approve funding for HGV training. Companies that want to upskill current drivers can also apply for government grants for HGV training and offer HGV training for free.
There are several ways you can get access to government-funded HGV training courses.
The Government’s Skills Bootcamp is a government-funded HGV training scheme that’s primarily aimed at people who are either returning to work after a break or are looking for a career change.
The scheme offers funded HGV training across a range of disciplines, including HGV driver training for free.
With this 16-week course, which is open to adults over the age of 19 who are either unemployed or work and live in the UK, you can get a Category C or Category C+E HGV licence for free.
Worth noting: If you’re interested in getting HGV free training, the government maintains a list of providers where you can get it. You can find the list here.
The adult education budget funds HGV training through the apprenticeship scheme and the vocational qualifications programme.
If you’re 18 and over, live in the UK, and you’re not in full-time education, you can apply for one of the HGV jobs with free training through the government apprenticeship scheme and become an HGV driver for free.
Since it’s an apprenticeship and not a course, you’ll also be paid a salary. How much you’ll be paid depends on the employer.
Unemployed adults and those earning less than £17.374 per year can also apply for HGV government funding for a free vocational qualification.
There are a total of 5 government HGV training courses that the government offers as part of this program, all of which include Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) tests.
Worth noting: If you’re not sure where to look, you can visit a local council or a job centre, which can help you understand what schemes you qualify for and whether you can apply for free HGV driver training and apprenticeships through them.
Many logistics companies joined the government’s effort to tackle the driver shortage by offering HGV sponsored training for those that want to become HGV drivers.
Some of the companies that pay for HGV training are:
Last year in October, DHL, the global leader in the logistics sector, announced the launch of a training programme, called Driving Ambition, to provide free HGV driving lessons worth up to £3,000 to 1000 applicants in 2022.
This program is available for anyone who is looking to become an HGV driver, as well as those who want to upskill from a Class 2 to Class 1 HGV licence.
Health & Safety Training Limited, a government-approved training provider, provides free HGV training to those who are unemployed or earn a low income.
Applicants have to be 19 or older and pass a suitability interview.
The Job Gym offers a free 16-week programme that features both work skills and LGV courses.
In addition to offering free lorry driver training, the Job Gym also promises to support applicants in their job search and connect drivers with employers who are looking to hire.
Pertemps offers free HGV training in the UK for drivers that want to join the industry. Applicants get access to LGV licence acquisition training courses of up to £5,000 at any of its training sites in Yorkshire, Worcestershire, and Bristol.
In return, applicants will have to sign a two-year contract with the company.
If you opt for free HGV training from a company (and not a government grant for HGV training), you need to consider a few things before signing on.
Whether you’re looking to start a career in this industry or you just want to upgrade your HGV licence, the timing couldn’t be better. With HGV drivers currently in high demand, the government not only sped up the qualification process but is currently offering free government HGV training via an HGV government grant for those that want to become certified lorry drivers.
To be eligible for an HGV licence you must have a Full Driving Licence (Category B) and CPC qualification.
Although the practical HGV training only takes five days, the entire process of acquiring an HGV licence typically takes around 6-8 weeks.
You can either apply for one of the government-funded HGV training courses for 2022 or opt for courses offered by private logistics companies.
Bojana is my name and writing is my game. I am a content writer from Bitola who is always interested in the latest research in almost all areas of life. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a perfectionist character, both of which help me find the most accurate data and information available. Although I have my head stuck in studies and reports most of the time, I still have a bit of free time during which I enjoy knitting and watching classic 90’s Disney movies.