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Put Yourself in the Driving Seat with HGV Transport Academy

Following the success of last year’s academy, Mid Ulster Labour Market Partnership (LMP) is giving Mid Ulster residents another chance to take part in the HGV Transport Academy.

Now in its second year, the academy will provide free training for those seeking to become fully qualified HGV lorry and transport drivers. Last year 41 places were filled and over 20 participants have already gained employment to date following completion of the course. A further 10-12 participants are expected to gain employment by the end of the current academy.

Funded by the Department for Communities, Labour Market Partnerships create targeted employment action plans for council areas, allowing for collaboration at local and regional level to support people towards and into work.

Created to help address the shortage of drivers faced by haulage and transport firms within Mid Ulster, the academy is aimed at residents of the district who are long term unemployed or underemployed, providing a career pathway in haulage and transport which may have been previously out of their reach.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Dominic Molloy, welcomed the return of the scheme, saying:

Last year we received over 200 applications for 41 spaces on the HGV Transport Academy. It was clear to see that there is a huge demand to help people access this industry, and to help fill jobs within our haulage and transport firms. The Mid Ulster LMP are taking action to tackle this issue and help our residents become road ready by 2024, creating a strong and resilient haulage and transport industry within Mid Ulster.

Successful applicants will benefit by receiving training, testing and mentoring support to pursue a career pathway in the logistics field. Those who complete the programme offered through the academy will be supported financially to obtain Class 2 and/or Class 1 licences, invaluable in gaining employment as an HGV or Transport Driver and are guaranteed an interview with a local employer. 

The programme will be delivered by People 1st, a local training & employment company, in partnership with the Henderson Group, who will be providing the practical training.

Brenda Kernaghan, Director at People 1st said, "Following the great success of the 2022-23 Mid Ulster HGV Transport Academy we, at People 1st, are extremely pleased to participate in the 2023-24 HGV Transport Academy in collaboration with Mid Ulster District Council. Our steadfast dedication lies in providing comprehensive training and support to individuals within this council area, empowering them to unlock their full potential and attain licenses for both HGV and PCV vehicles. This in turn, facilitates the candidates' transition into long-term, gainful employment opportunities within the council area."

Julian Cooney who completed last year’s Academy said, “The training was absolutely fantastic, I can’t speak highly enough of both Henderson and People 1st, very worthwhile.”

To qualify, applicants will need to have a full UK driving licence for a minimum of five years with no more than 3 penalty points and show proof that they live in the Mid Ulster District Council area. Criteria will be applied to shortlist applicants based on employment status. Applications close on Friday 27th October and can be completed via an online application form.

Practical and driving theory training will take place between December 2023 and March 2024, and candidates will also be offered help to update their CVs and prepare for job interviews with local companies as soon as they achieve licences.

For further information contact People 1st on or call 028 9030 3981.

Local employers can review the priorities of the Mid Ulster Labour Market Partnership Action Plan on the Council’s website, or request a copy in full by emailing LMP.