The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimate that the road transport industry faces a continued shortfall of approximately 60,000 drivers, which is expected to continue for 10-15 years. In addition, the level and method of training means new drivers aren’t prepared for the modern demands of the transport industry, leading to heavy insurance premiums. Employers cite this as one of the top five reasons they don’t consider apprentices or drivers under 25.
The methods currently used to train vocational drivers to gain their licences are outdated, with processes concentrating on acquiring the licence rather than the skills needed to work. Training is expensive for young people and recent changes to tests have increased the time taken to qualify.
The RHA project will develop a fully immersive simulator at their Bathgate training centre to increase the hours trainees spend “behind the wheel” of a large goods or public service vehicle while also reducing road risks. They hope to place the simulator in local schools and colleges to introduce logistics careers to Level 2 students.
The project aims to:
- Reduce the time and cost of training.
- Show how the technology can supplement apprenticeships by introducing complex situation-based driving scenarios that cannot safely be practiced during on-road training.
- Show how the technology can be used to encourage the take up of logistics apprenticeships in Scotland particularly among those aged 16 – 19.
If successful this project could change the way RHA deliver training by providing trainee feedback that can be reviewed post-lesson, with time to practice in the simulator.