Lorry driving on a motorway

How to become a HGV driver

In September it was announced that there is a national shortage of HGV drivers in the UK. This is having a devastating effect on many industries.  The UK government is encouraging HGV driving licence holders to put their valuable skills and experience into effect and help with this crisis, and are promising better pay and conditions than ever before. 

Have you ever considered becoming a HGV driver?  Read on to find out more about what this job involves and how to find opportunities in your area.

What qualifications do I need? 

The good news is there are no formal educational requirements to start training as a HGV driver – all you need is a full car driving licence. 

What skills do I need? 

In addition to being a good driver, some essential skills for the role include: 

  • Being able to deal with changes such as bad weather, route changes, or difficult traffic conditions. 
  • Having good organisational skills to plan your route and manage delivery schedules. 
  • Being able to concentrate for long periods of time while driving and paying attention to detail. 

What are the perks of this job? 

There is currently high demand for HGV drivers so you may be able to earn a good salary with added benefits as employers are competing for staff.  There are many different types of employers to chose from in all sorts of industries.  You can earn even more money by training to become a specialist load driver, and you may have the opportunity to travel at home and abroad. 

What are the downsides of this job? 

Driving long distances can be physically exhausting and you may spend a lot of time away from home.  It is especially important to look after your mental health and take plenty of breaks. 

What career prospects are there? 

You can obtain specialist licences to drive hazardous load vehicles, or industrial vehicles, which may enable you to earn more money.  With experience you could also become a transport manager, which involves managing the work of other drivers, liaising with customers, and organising contracts, routes and schedules. 

How do I find opportunities in my area? 

If you already have a HGV licence you can find opportunities on the Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) websites.

If you want to become a HGV driver you can find out how to apply for your licence. 

The UK Government has also promised that free skills bootcamps in HGV driving will also be available from November 2021.

If you are a HGV driver and would like to share your story of how you got into this type of work, please email us at workwell@slam.nhs.uk – we’d love to hear from you. 

If you are an employer looking for staff, please check out our Employ Well service.