DHL turns to ex-military to plug driver skills gap

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Logistics firm DHL is recruiting ex-military talent to plug the skills gap for drivers in the logistics industry.

DHL SVP HR Nikki Craig told HR magazine the Military Employability Programme was a “natural progression” after the organisation provided training for 250 service leavers in 2013.

“DHL requires talented, skilled individuals and ex-military professionals are ideal candidates for our company,” Craig said.

She added: “The work placements undertaken by the participants give them the chance to demonstrate skills gained in their prior training, but crucially provide an opportunity to show what they can bring to the business. We [can] ensure the business needs are met, and that we have a commercially sustainable project that provides us with the talent we require to succeed in the future.”

The logistics sector is suffering a major skills shortage, due to a lack of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers. The number of HGV drivers in the UK has decreased by one-sixth in the past five years, and estimates suggest the UK needs 150,000 extra drivers by 2020.

Craig said recruiting ex-military is helping DHL to “fill this skills gap”.

She added: “The logistics industry is currently suffering from a shortage of talented drivers. In light of changes to training programme funding, coupled with the current economic climate and regulatory changes, it has become difficult to recruit skilled individuals.”

So far the pilot programme has been oversubscribed, Craig said. “It has been a learning curve for us all, but one that has been greatly rewarding and which we will build upon in the future,” she added.

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