A session focusing on realising new talent from untapped sources will be led by Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Transport Association (RHA), at Europe’s largest road transport conference, The Microlise Transport Conference.
The discussion will feature Jim Davidson OBE in his capacity as Care After Combat Executive Chairman, Governor Poole of HMP Sudbury Prison and Paul Allera, Head of Fleet at Fowler Welch.
With the driver shortage currently standing at around 45,000 according to the latest RHA figures, the session will explore the untapped resource pools available from former military personnel and ex-prisoners.
“With transport operators facing a long term issue around new drivers coming into the industry and military veterans, inmates and reformed offenders often seeking a way back into civilian life, a career in the transport industry offers the potential for long term employment,” said Bob Harbey, Microlise Executive Director. “With good pay, conditions and long-term stability in a crucial profession, this has the potential to benefit both transport operators and the potential new recruits.”
During the discussion Governor Poole of Sudbury Prison will explore whether inmates from his open prison, who work in the community, could benefit. Poole will outline the need for opportunities for ex-prisoners and the challenges of finding long-term employment, as well as the issues around re-offending when employment cannot be found.
In his role representing forces charity Care After Combat, Jim Davidson will discuss the need for opportunities for former military personnel, especially those who have experienced combat and may benefit from additional support as they transition from military back into civilian life.
Paul Allera will talk on Fowler Welch’s driver recruitment and retention strategies including its “warehouse to wheels” programme that sees staff recruited internally from other areas of its business.
“We all know there is a challenge recruiting in our industry,” said Burnett. “It has long been a priority for the RHA to not just discuss the issues, but help to find solutions. During this panel discussion, in front of more than a thousand delegates from the road transport industry, we hope to find new resources for recruitment.”
The Microlise Transport Conference is the largest of its kind in Europe, hosted by Microlise whose telematics and proof of delivery solutions help to reduce costs and the environmental impact of fleet operations.