Let's keep them interestel etter o t e wee
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Re: Will Shiers' comment piece in CM 28 November 2013. My two children also love playing with toy trucks. When I go out driving, we have a small family battle to see which one will go out with daddy in a truck. However, I disagree with Shiers' statement regarding drivers' crap wages. The rest of his comments are all true, but the budding, enthusiastic youth is blissfully unaware of how he will be treated once he takes to the road. The problem comes when youngsters find they have to wait until they are 21 before they are even allowed to drive a truck. And don't even get me started on insurance premiums for younger drivers! While larger haulage firms can afford to offer apprenticeships, a vast proportion of hauliers cannot find a youngster a job of any kind. We need an organisation that is maybe financially supported by hauliers to offer the eager youngster some
training. I was lucky that my family could afford
for me to attend college and pay for my training, but not many families can do the same. Wouldn't it be good if we could sign up to a scheme, where every few months a newly qualified driver with all the necessary training requirements would drop into the industry to replace our current ageing set of drivers? I have recently advertised at Chippenham college for an apprentice to work in my transport office with the hope that one day they will be a transport manager — I even planned to help the suitable candidate get their LGV licence when the time came. My plan, in conjunction with the college, was to turn out the next generation of our industry, while assisting my business along the way. But although the position was advertised on the national apprenticeship website, not one person applied for the position. I want to make plans and provisions for the future of my business and the industry, but I don't know where to start! My only hope is that my eldest son, who is only seven, is in a position to take the reins in years to come before I give up the ghost altogether. Oh yeah, and he can still find some fool daft enough to drive the trucks... Paul Doust MD, JJ & S Transport
Ed's note: The minimum age for driving a truck is 18, but admittedly very few people can get work at that age.