PD Ports has introduced the logistics industry to pupils as a possible career path as part of National Lorry Week to help meet a shortfall of skilled drivers in the sector. A fleet of wagons from Tees Valley haulage firms were on display for young people to explore at the Inspire2Learn education centre in Eston, near Redcar.
Nationwide, there are more than 50 events happening throughout the UK for National Lorry Week, from September 19 to 24, which is based on the theme ‘The Next Generation’.
The all-party Parliamentary group for freight transport published a report last year which revealed that just two per cent of all HGV drivers are under the age of 25 with 60 per cent over 45.
Jim French, Director of PD Ports’ portcentric logistics division, and chairman of the RHA, said: "We’ve had an incredible response from our members for this year’s Love the Lorry week. The whole industry recognises the fact that we need to fire-up the next generation and show them the opportunities that are open to them.
"This industry is going through a period of renewal and we need more drivers; women as well as men. But the industry is more than just drivers. We need warehouse operatives, mechanics, technicians, IT specialists, transport managers and marketing experts. The haulage and logistics industry has something for everyone."
The RHA also hosted a parliamentary reception at Westminster to raise awareness among MPs and civil servants about the challenges faced by the industry that is responsible for moving 85 per cent of the nation’s goods by road.
Andrew Stogdale, manager and teaching consultant at Inspire2Learn, said: "We are delighted to focus attention on one of our most valuable employment sectors as part of its ongoing programme of engagement between schools and employers.
"There is growing evidence that events like this make a real difference to the life chances of children and without the support of our local companies it simply wouldn't happen."