In the UK there has been a shortage of HGV drivers for many years. The average age of a British lorry driver is around 55 and there are not enough young learners coming through to replace them (RHA, 2018).
Only around 1% of the nation’s HGV drivers are under the age of 25 (The Times, 2018). There could be several factors contributing to the growing problem such as it being a demanding role. It also requires a lot of energy, attention and hours – notwithstanding the financial costs of HGV driver training, tests and licenses.
People’s perception of the industry may also be damaging to the amount of new and young drivers. Logistics and waste management is not traditionally seen as the industry of choice for people looking for a career and is generally not discussed as an option in schools.
Another one of the main concerns and perceptions for other employers is that new drivers are ‘unsafe’. Having placed newly qualified and young drivers, CountyClean would argue the complete opposite. Having just passed their test, theory and CPC, this information is fresh in the minds of drivers and will be applied in a practical way as they start their career. New drivers also have no inherent bad driving habits and are easier for trainers and assessors to teach good driving techniques.
Breaking the Mould
CountyClean Group want to change these views and perceptions and believe that a job as a waste management operative and HGV driver is a great career choice with a lot of opportunities! Being a waste management operative is not just driving from A to B due to the need to complete technically skilled and tough jobs which require physical fitness too.
Young people also may not realise that the average salary for a waste management operative in the UK is generally well paid with salaries circa £30,000 P/A plus optional overtime.
The Group actively encourage new and young drivers to join their ranks and currently have two operatives who are under the age of 25. One of these employees has already been put through the relevant training to gain their full HGV license and the other will soon follow. Opportunities are also offered to the unemployed if they have the drive, determination and interest in starting a career as a waste management operative.
At the CountyClean Group, new inexperienced employees start their career as a labourer to gain experience from other highly skilled and experienced operatives. They will also attend the relevant training and safety courses specific to the industry as well as their role and will work towards gaining a HGV license with the Group’s help and support. This is a perfect opportunity to learn and develop as there are many extensive training and career progression opportunities within the company.
CountyClean’s longest standing operative (pictured below) started with them at the age of 19. Having no previous experience within the industry, he started as a labourer assisting other experienced staff to learn the role and now has his full HGV license and can operate all their specialist plant equipment and vehicles. The Group love nothing more than offering a new driver their first HGV role and find that new drivers are more safety conscious. The Group has also employed ex-service men and women in the past.
Extra Incentives for a Skilled and Demanding Job
CountyClean Group ensure their trainees and skilled operatives have the latest safety equipment, technology and training.
They also offer monthly reward schemes for operatives and have a photo of the month competition for employees to submit photos taken on jobs for the Marketing Department, the best ones will receive a prize and the photo will be used across their social media, website, PR posts and material.
The latest technology and working practices are incorporated to meet the demands of the highly regulated waste industry. All of the Group’s vehicles are equipped with CCTV in the cabs and on the exterior of the vehicles as well as the latest tracking technology. This allows them to view exactly where the vehicles are at all times for safety and monitoring purposes.
For those who have never worked in the waste management industry it can sometimes be a surprise as to how versatile and varied the job is – no two days are the same. Just take a look around on their website at the variety of services offered and the range of jobs their operatives carry out! The number of different roles and skills required shows how many opportunities there are in the waste sector.
CountyClean Group are always on the look out for new operatives whatever the age and gender (although we would love to be able to hire some more young recruits to increase that 1%!) Whether you have a HGV license or not and are interested in starting a career in waste management please send in your CV and covering letter explaining why you’d like to start your career with The Group to [email protected].
We look forward to hearing from you!