FM Conway Creates LGV Apprenticeship
30th November 2018 Paul Andrews
Leading infrastructure services company, FM Conway, has launched one of the construction industry's first Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driver apprenticeship programmes.
Part of the business’ wider efforts to tackle construction’s major skills gap, the apprenticeship is aimed at addressing the shortfall of LGV drivers in the UK, which is currently estimated to stand at 45,000 by the Road Haulage Association.
The 13-month apprenticeship – which the business is funding through the government apprenticeship levy – will aim to support new entrants into the industry as well as provide existing employees the opportunity to upskill or re-train.
Delivered by FM Conway in partnership with Scania and South Essex College the programme will see around 36 apprentices per year learn the functional skills required to drive an LGV, alongside a comprehensive overview of health and safety protocols, sustainable and economical driving and vehicle specifications.
FM Conway’s commitment to delivering the new LGV apprenticeship also reflects its wider self-delivery model. Where possible, the business uses its own vehicles, equipment, materials and in-house teams to deliver construction projects to drive efficiencies and ensure quality of delivery for customers. The company’s liveried fleet stands at over 900 vehicles, making it one of the largest private logistic operators in London and the south east.
Liz Garvey, HR director at FM Conway, commented: “The skills shortage remains a well-documented, serious challenge for construction. It affects all levels of our business, both on and off site. We need to be flexible in how we tackle the issue, providing a variety of opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ages and using funding mechanisms astutely to plug the gaps."
“The shortage of LGV drivers has the potential to seriously hamper the wider industry’s ability to get materials and equipment to site. With just two per cent of drivers under the age of 25, it’s clear that the sector’s current recruitment process isn’t working. With this new apprenticeship standard, we want to attract people who might never have considered a career in construction before or been aware of the diversity of roles it can offer."
“However, we also need to ensure that we’re retaining our existing employees and providing long-term careers for them. The beauty of this standard is that it is both a gateway for new talent and a way to help more experienced employees retrain and transition into positions that might better accommodate their needs.”