Pall-Ex is accelerating its recruitment with the launch of a nationwide Driver Drive, which will help tackle HGV driver shortages across its network. The firm has launched a new website where drivers can apply for jobs across the network, including roles for class one and two HGV drivers, forklift truck operators and van drivers. The East Midlands-based palletised distribution network is launching the drive during the Road Haulage Association’s National Lorry Week (16th – 22nd September), designed to raise the profile of careers in the logistics industry. The industry is facing a growing shortage of drivers due to an ageing workforce; research from workers’ union Unite shows that just 1% of HGV drivers in the UK are aged under 25, while the average age of drivers was recorded at 48 in 2016 – up from 45.3 in 2001 – with 13% aged over 60. Kevin Buchanan, Group managing director at Pall-Ex, comments: “We wanted to find a resolution that would benefit Pall-Ex as a whole, particularly our members who are struggling to fill driving roles. “We receive a lot of requests via our social media platforms about recruitment in different areas of the country, so it became apparent that we needed one location where people could apply for various jobs across the network. “Available roles are for drivers who already hold a Class 1 or 2 HGV licence, or a counter-balance licence, and are looking for new opportunities. However, we do have a forklift truck academy where drivers can access a full training programme, which is currently available at our central hub in Ellistown.” Despite being the UK’s fifth largest employer, responsible for moving 1.41 billion tonnes of goods in 2018 according to figures from the Department for Transport, the logistics industry continues to face recruitment issues. Kevin adds: “Attracting the younger generation has become more challenging as they are unaware of the scope of jobs available and the opportunities for progression. “Also, training to become a driver has a major cost associated with it. We fully support calls for improved access to training, apprenticeships and grants that can help young people start their careers in the industry. “We want logistics to be a talking point in schools, so we can educate young people on the positives of not only driving, but other roles in the industry. We pro-actively speak to local colleges about opportunities and have students visit our main hub in Ellistown for work experience and placement days. “Our increasing preference for online purchasing is fuelling growth in the sector, so we need to encourage the next generation to take the wheel and drive the industry forward.” To view available jobs visit www.pallexdrivers.co.uk.