Hampshire based waste management firm L&S Waste has invested more than £20,000 in the training of its drivers to ensure they meet new industry regulations.
30 drivers from the company’s depots across the south have recently received their Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC training); a certificate which will become a legal requirement by 2014.
L&S Waste managing director, Mick Balch, said: "Professional training produces smarter, safer and more economical drivers, so there is a clear benefit to the business in our drivers gaining these qualifications.
"It is usually the responsibility of the individual driver to obtain these qualifications, at a cost of around £700. However, we were able to arrange funding to cover this and deflect this expense away from our drivers."
The CPC training was conducted as part of the Level 2 Driving Goods Vehicle Apprenticeship Framework, and covered a variety of subjects including basic numeracy and literacy, knowledge of industry standards, employment rights and responsibilities.
The Driving Standards Agency estimates that in the region of 850,000 professional HGV drivers will need to complete the training by 2014, although currently that less than 10% of drivers have completed their 35 hours.
L&S Waste plant and transport manager, Dominic Sales, said: "Our drivers have shown real dedication in achieving these qualifications, having conducted the required 35 hours of CPC training in their own time over a period of 10 months.
"We are keen to keep our team ahead of the game by ensuring everyone is fully trained to the highest levels of competency."
L&S currently operates a fleet of 30 waste collection vehicles across Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Wiltshire and Dorset and has waste recycling and reprocessing depots in Portsmouth, Fareham and Southampton.