South Essex College selected to deliver free professional driver qualifications

SOUTH Essex College has been selected to deliver a series of free professional driver qualifications through the government’s HGV Bootcamp initiative.

The courses, which last up to 16 weeks, are suitable for those new to heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driving, or those returning to driving. Those wanting to upgrade their licence or qualifications can also apply.

The courses are free and are available to those who are 19 years of age or older who hold a full category B (car) licence with no penalty points.

The courses will be run from the college’s Basildon Luckyn Lane and Thurrock, Grays High Street campuses. Excellent rail and bus links to the campuses not only make these courses accessible to local people, but those from further afield too.

The college has also been working with its range of partners to guarantee everyone who successfully completes their course an interview with a local employer seeking those with a category C driving licence and the Initial Driver Certificate of Professional Competence, Driver Qualification Card.

As part of the programme, students will undertake a medical and learn the theory side of driving a commercial vehicle, before embarking on a week of practical driver training. Once the driver training is complete, students will undertake their class 2 driving test before receiving guidance to develop employability skills and prepare them for interview.

Mark Bentley, Logistics Operations Director, said the courses were key to addressing the current driver shortage.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for people to gain the skills needed to provide an essential service.

“As the courses are free, there has never been a better time for people to upskill or take on a completely new qualification.”

Each 16-week programme will start on a rolling basis at the beginning of 2022 with the first course scheduled to start on 24 January.

For more information and to register your interest, please visit www.southessex.ac.uk/hgv

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