ASK someone to describe a stereotypical LGV driver and they would probably reply “a pot-bellied bloke in his mid-50s.”
Admittedly, it is not the most glamorous of jobs and the hours can be long and unsociable – which IS perhaps why women give the haulage industry a wide berth.
Women are massively under-represented and the latest figures claim that just eight per cent of all 400,000 professional drivers are female.
Flamed-haired trucker Kara Rouse – who drives around in her Barbie-pink painted cab – has helped raise the profile of female LGV drivers and a campaign entitled “HerGV” has been launched to make the career more fashionable. But more still needs to be done.
The road haulage industry desperately needs to attract women into its ranks if it is to survive – let alone prosper.
Haulage associations estimate there’s a current shortfall of between 45,000-60,000 drivers, with another 40,000 due to leave the industry by 2017.
And Government statistics also show that by 2022, the LGV industry needs to recruit 1.2 million more people.
This has prompted ministers to urge companies to expand their female workforce.
And companies are keen to dismiss the misconception that women would be unable to cope with the physical demands of being a trucker.
The development of new, state-of-the-art artics that have been rolled out in recent years can only help.
James Hookham, the Freight Transport Association’s deputy chief executive, said: “Modern cabs are like spaceships these days, with automatic gears and steering and lots of creature comforts.”
But he admitted the industry still needed to offer women more flexible hours to fit around family life, and accepts that poor roadside facilities and grotty motorway services are off putting.
However, what is an attractive proposition are the salaries LGV drivers can earn when fully trained.
Prospective lorry drivers must be over 18 and hold a full UK or EU driving licence.
Cat C licences are for vehicles with a rigid-based body weighing more than 7.5 tonnes – including fire engines, rubbish trucks. Holders of this licence can expect starting salaries of about £24,000 per year.
Cat C+E licence holders can drive any vehicle over 7.5 tonnes that has a detachable or separate trailer, and salaries start from around £28,000 per year.
Training for Cat C and Cat C+E is not as expensive as you think.
And with Ben Shaw Training offering 0% finance on all courses, subject to terms and conditions, what are you waiting for?
Contact the office today on 01282 614124.
Ben Shaw Training Ltd