'I want to train as HGV driver but there are so many delays'

Mark Ambrose is looking to become an HGV driver but is struggling

Mark Ambrose is looking to become an HGV driver but is struggling - Credit: Mark Ambrose/Getty Images/iStockphoto

An Ipswich man looking to become an HGV driver has said that not enough is being done to help people trying to get into the industry. 

Mark Ambrose has been a welder for 25 years but for the last few years he has been looking to change careers and become an HGV driver. 

Covid prevented him from getting the training he needed and now Mr Ambrose says he is facing hurdle after hurdle to try and achieve his dream - despite driver shortages.

Mr Ambrose said he had been in touch with a number of different local companies but so far they have been unable to help him. 

One of the other major hurdles he had to face was trying to get a provisional HGV license. 

"You put in for your provisional and it takes 13 weeks for it to come back," he said. 

"They want to get a lot of drivers to help their shortfall but there's no way of doing it."

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He said that in other areas of the country there were more training opportunities in places like Yorkshire and Bristol but not in Suffolk. 

"The only way I've found of doing it so far is if you are unemployed," he said. 

A pilot scheme run through the Job Centre has offered help in getting drivers into the industry with some licenses. 

"There should be more help to help people get their licenses but there just isn't any," he said. 

Mr Ambrose is desperate to get into the industry and help sort out the shortfall issues. 

Mr Ambrose said that as soon as he has his license finding a job won't be an issue. 

Last week, this newspaper found local jobs for drivers with HGV 1 licenses offering up to £60,000 a year as well as a number of bonuses.

"As soon as you have got your license you can walk into any job that you want," he said. 

"If you don't get on well with one company you can leave that company on a Friday and walk into a new one on the Monday."

He's been left in a Catch 22 trying to move forward with his plans. 

"If I leave the job I have got then I won't have enough money to pay for accommodation and get the license I need wherever they are doing it," he said.

"The only way I can see of doing it is doing it off my own back and paying for it could take a year or two years."