Colchester Borough Council is taking proactive steps to prevent the nationwide lorry driver shortage impacting bin collections.
Instead of facing a shortfall of HGV drivers, the council is bringing in a new training programme to upskill existing staff. Initially, three employees will be given the opportunity to undertake an HGV driving qualification, giving the waste team extra flexibility and protection from current driver shortages.
With at least 18 councils across the UK experiencing delays to their rubbish collections due to the HGV driver shortage, Colchester can be proud that it’s continuing to deliver a high-quality waste service.
Councillor Simon Crow, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said: “Our waste service cannot operate without HGV drivers; they are an integral part of our logistical workforce and without them we could not collect Colchester’s recycling and rubbish.
“We have worked hard over the last year to put this new training programme in place, which means we are in a much stronger position to protect this vital frontline service. I’m a huge believer in employers creating and promoting opportunities for employees to advance and progress in their careers, so I couldn’t be more proud to see our highly valued team members undertaking their HGV qualifications.”
Cllr Sue Lissimore, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to go out and hire new people with the skills to fill HGV jobs. Investing in our upskilling training programme is the most effective way of making sure our future workforce needs are met. We are not only offering a robust career progression route, but also protecting our frontline services, reducing employee turnover, and future-proofing our workforce. All helping us to deliver good value for money services for the people of Colchester.”
Colchester Borough Council’s recruitment remains resilient, having recently received over 50 well-suited applications for vacant Neighbourhood Services team leader and operative roles.
To give the Neighbourhood Services team further resilience, it is also recruiting for two apprenticeship roles in its Business Improvement and Greening teams.