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Hgv Drivers

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of projected demand for additional HGV drivers in the UK; and what measures he will introduce to counter skill shortages in this area. [106409]

My officials are in contact with the industry to address the issue of demand for drivers. Under the Government's Road Haulage Modernisation Fund, over £7 million has been allocated for training initiatives to help the industry meet its future labour and skills needs. The measures aim to recruit more young people to the industry, develop a UK specification lorry driver training simulator and will look at ways of protecting employer investment in training. The Modernisation Fund is intended as a pump-priming initiative and the industry must achieve a self-sustaining position where operators recruit, train and retain staff in sufficient numbers and with the relevant skills to support their future needs.