Ireland launches “earn as you learn” lorry driver apprenticeship scheme

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The Irish government has launched a 2-year-long apprenticeship scheme in transport operations and commercial driving to provide the opportunity for a higher-education qualification, as well as a professional driving qualification.

Ireland launches “earn as you learn” lorry driver apprenticeship scheme
Photo credits @ Trans.INFO

The two-year Transport Operations and Commercial Driving apprenticeship is the first on the Irish framework of qualifications linked with the profession of Heavy Goods Vehicle driving.

The scheme, which is s backed by lead proposer Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTA Ireland) and co-ordinating provider Atlantic Technological University, provides the opportunity for employees to gain a higher education qualification as well as their professional driving qualification.

Simply put, apprentices are employed by a business for the duration of the two-year programme and will earn as they learn.

Currently, the average age of commercial vehicle drivers in Ireland is over 50, with only 2% of those holding a commercial-vehicle license being women. The launch of this new apprenticeship hopes to attract a new generation to the industry with more women HGV drivers.

“Road transport is critical to the continued success of Ireland’s supply chain since it accounts for almost 99% of inland freight movements across the country. Yet the pressure on talent to join other careers is placing increasing pressure on recruitment for the sector, which is now struggling to recruit a diverse workforce and has suffered long-standing skills shortages as a result,” commented Aidan Flynn, Chief Executive at FTA Ireland on the launch of the scheme.

Flynn added:

“Apprenticeships are a proven means for new recruits to join a sector while still learning during their workplace training, and we are confident that this new apprenticeship will attract new employees to our vibrant industry and ensure that they can take up one of the many jobs currently on offer once qualified.”

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