FTA warns of compulsory driver training faillures 11 November 2011

Nearly half of FTA members surveyed claim that meeting their EU driver training requirements, under DCPC (Driver Certificate of Professional Competence), is a 'major concern', second only to rising fuel costs.

By September 2014, all truck drivers in Europe must have completed 35 hours of training, and although the compliance requirements was introduced over two years ago, industry remains reluctant to invest in compulsory training.

The reason, according to the Freight Transport Association, is the annual driver employment churn, which, in some sectors, is up to 20%.

"Tough trading conditions, high fuel costs and traditionally slim profit margins mean that budgets are stretched across the industry," says Isobel Harding, FTA's national training manager.

"It is therefore understandable that uptake has been sluggish," she continues. "While awareness of these training obligations is high, there is a manifest reluctance from industry to invest in training drivers when there is a good chance that by the time the deadline comes around those same drivers might be working elsewhere."

Latest figures from the Driving Standards Agency show that qualified HGV drivers could be well short of the 35 hours mark, approaching the 2014 deadline.

Although there was a demonstrable improvement in the uptake of Driver CPC, particularly during 2011, there is a reducing window of opportunity, which will require an accelerated uptake to meet the deadline in 2014.

Johyn Challen

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