Poundland is to offer training packages and enhance its bonus scheme for lorry drivers as it bids to draft in 100 new workers across three of its distribution centres.

The value retailer will pay for the costs of getting an upgraded HGV Class 1 licence for HGV Class 2 licence-holders with six months’ experience, a move that will then allow them to drive articulated lorries. 

The four-day training course can cost up to £2,000 per driver. 

Poundland is also offering existing employees help with funding the Class 1 licence. So far, six existing employees have signed up for the initiative.

The retailer will also offer a £1,000 bonus to drivers who work out of Poundland’s distribution centres from July to September. A further £1,000 bonus will be granted to drivers who work for Poundland during the golden quarter, between October and December.

Poundland wants to recruit at least 40 new drivers at each of its warehouses in Wigan and Harlow, as well as a further 15 at Springvale. It already employs 265 drivers across the three sites.

Poundland logistics director Tim Goalen said: “We’re continuing to invest in our distribution teams to keep operations running smoothly. Funding the costs of getting a HGV Class 1 licence helps drivers get in the career fast lane, with more employment opportunities and higher earnings potential.”

Poundland is the latest in a string of retailers attempting to woo drivers amid HGV driver shortages across the nation, a shortage attributed to the pandemic and Brexit. 

John Lewis and Waitrose have raised drivers’ pay, while the likes of Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Aldi have offered signing-on bonuses to new drivers as the sector wrestles to contain supply chain disruption.

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