Leading laundry supplier CLEAN re-launched its Driver Academy in a bid to encourage more delivery drivers into the industry. Clean previously ran its Drivers Academy in 2017.

Professional drivers perform an essential role at Clean, delivering millions of pieces of linen and workwear annually to customers around the UK and with the business continuing to grow, the company is looking to increase its driver numbers from the current 205 it already employs.

However, with the UK currently facing a shortage of almost 50,000 HGV drivers caused by a 25% drop in new driver license acquisitions, Clean has developed a plan to help boost numbers.

The Clean Driver Academy includes a full Induction process in van driving (B licence up to 3.5 tonnes MPW and no Driver CPC) and LGV driving (C1, C, CE over 3.5 tonnes MPW with a Driver CPC required).

The one-day Van Driver and LGV Driver training covers a wide number of areas, including speed awareness, vehicle checks, safe loading and load restraint, road craft, tachographs, manual handling, safe operation of tail lifts, and customer care. Assessments on certain areas will be held before participants sit a 50-question paper.

Papers for both courses require a 75% pass rate, with successful candidates then considered for a delivery driver job with Clean.

As well as running the induction courses for new drivers, Clean runs a dedicated training programme to develop the skills of its current workforce. This includes Driver CPC training, regular Driver Assessments and driving style measurements from the vehicle telematics system, as well as post incident training.

In addition, Clean actively encourages employees in other departments, who express an interest in driving, to join the “Warehouse to Wheels” project. This provides on the job training and assessments, along with access to the required driving test for the appropriate licence category. Clean has also taken a proactive approach in recruiting and mentoring newly qualified LGV drivers who may normally struggle to obtain employment.   

Tim Bright, head of transport at Clean, said: “The impact of the driver shortage is affecting many businesses across the UK in an economy that is reliant on the movement of heavy goods. As Clean continues on its growth trajectory, we are more dedicated than ever to providing opportunities to both our existing and future employees that serve Clean and the UK transportation industry as a whole.

“Our plan is to not only eliminate many of the challenges and obstacles that have led to this shortage, such as the financial costs of becoming a HGV driver, but also provide high-quality training that will upskill our drivers to the benefit of the economy, as more qualified professionals strengthen the nation’s workforce.”