Operators need to invest in their drivers by shouldering some of the burden of Driver CPC training, senior traffic commissioner (TC) Beverley Bell has said.
Hosting a debate at a drivers’ forum in Warrington last week, organised by recruitment agency Search Consultancy, Bell revealed that she has received letters from LGV drivers complaining that their employers won’t pay for their CPC courses, and won’t give them time off to do the training.
“These drivers are saying they work Monday to Friday, and sometimes have to do a Saturday morning shift. Taking into consideration the weekly rest period, there isn’t legally any time for them over a weekend to take a course. They’re asking me what they should do – tell me who you work for!” said Bell.
Although legally it is drivers’ responsibility to do the full 35 hours of required Driver CPC training by September 2014, Bell made it clear that TCs expect operators to have arrangements in place to ensure compliance with the Driver CPC legislation.
“It is the operator’s job to make sure it doesn’t employ a driver after September 2014 who doesn’t have a driver qualification card [DQC],” said Bell.
“If they are employed by you and they haven’t done their 35 hours, we will ask you why. You cannot abdicate responsibility by saying it is the driver’s job to go and get it done – it is no different from the licence requirements.”
Bell said it fills her with distaste that some haulage firms are making drivers take a day of holiday to do their CPC training.
“As a responsible employer, why can’t you incorporate CPC training into your drivers’ duty periods?” asked Bell. “With a looming driver shortage, you need to make it attractive for people to come into the industry. Invest in your drivers and embrace the Driver CPC.”