Not your average Joe campaign to recruit HGV drivers

‘Grow your own’ talent approach challenges status quo on driver shortages.

Birmingham-based PGS Global Logistics is growing its own talent pool through its ‘Not Your Average Joe’ initiative, a direct challenge to the sector’s chronic driver shortage.

According to the Road Haulage Association, more than 50,000 drivers are required to fulfil current delivery workloads, while the average age of someone behind the wheel is 53, the same as lollipop patrol workers and clerics.

But PGS is one of a number of Pallet-Track members invested in training their staff out of the driver crisis and is using 23-year-old Joe Eyles as a real life recruiting sergeant for the campaign.

Joe, the face behind ‘Not Your Average Joe’ is not only in charge of maintaining the PGS Fleet, but he has also secured both Class 2 and Class 1 driver certificates, allowing him to get behind the wheel of the biggest vehicles on the road.

“The average age of drivers is between 50 and 60,” said Joe.

“There are simply not enough young people getting into driving – it suffers from a negative image, but it’s a progressive career with good money.

“The industry has not helped because it won’t let young people behind the wheel unless they have two years’ experience. But that’s a Catch 22 as you can’t get experience unless someone lets you drive in the first place.

“Here, through A1 Training, which is also on site, we use mentors to go out with new drivers to make sure they quickly pick up the experience without acquiring the bad habits.”

David Bayliss, commercial director for PGS Global Logistics, said: “Joe is not your typical Joe but a great example of what the industry should be aspiring to. The supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link and that could be a driver shortage when all of the 50+ drivers retire.

“Rather than complain about it, we need to train ourselves out of the issue by showing how to recruit younger drivers into the industry. Joe is a great way of achieving that. In a very short time, he has developed skills that have established him in the business and will take him far in the industry.”