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UK Class 1 HGV Drivers Where are You?

Recruitment always holds surprises.

Our roots are firmly UK but we are better known as an international recruitment agency so we were delighted to be given a piece of straightforward recruitment on behalf of a new entrant into the UK market.

Class 1 HGVWe are looking for 20 HGV drivers to be based out of Cambridgeshire but most of the work is continental and we thought we’d be inundated with applications but that is not the case and we feel the Government has questions to answer here, unless there are no unemployed Class 1 HGV drivers in the UK or the European Union.

We attempted to use the Government’s site Universal Job Match to complement our activities and the site is extremely slow and regularly falls over but eventually we managed to load the job. We then ran a search against jobseekers, many of whom will be on benefits and the number that came up was zero, that’s right, according to the Government site there was not one unemployed HGV driver on the books.

We contacted Universal Job Match by email and asked for a call back but instead we got an email saying the job had been correctly advertised but not commenting on the lack of matches or offering to carry out any actions. Surely 20 job vacancies deserves more attention from the jobsworths running the government sites? Obviously not.

This is not the end of the story as there is a scam in which the Government or its employees are also complicit. Quite rightly they are trying to clamp down on abuse of JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) and the main control appears to be that claimants must contact employers/recruitment agencies on a regular basis to demonstrate they are actually seeking work. According to the Job Centres the scheme operates differently in different parts of the country but the rule of thumb I was told is contact 3 times a week. This leads to time waster applying for jobs and getting and accepting offers and then mysteriously developing illnesses, other job offers, deaths in the family etc letting employers down or damaging recruitment agencies relationships with their clients and we have fallen victim to this.

About 6 weeks ago we we were asked to provide statistics to the Job Centre and this involved a bit of unpaid work at our end but we thought it would be a worthwhile exercise as it damages the prospects of the genuine job seeker who requires help. Now having provided statistics and chased, without success, for a response 3 times I’m pretty convinced that the level of fraud is substantial and that the sanctions available are rarely used. if I’m wrong then the Government can publish the statistics for us all to see.

We all want to do our bit to help reduce unemployment but is it any wonder employers very often favour candidates from elsewhere in the EU when the Government is not providing quality systems that work and condones, through inaction, what is effectively fraud against the tax payer. I’m sure there are plenty of  out of work southern European HGV drivers that will take the jobs including not just the Greeks, but hungry Cypriots, as well as Spanish and Portuguese willing to work.

So if there are any Class 1 HGV drivers out there looking for work check out this link and get in touch.


Author: Chris Slay


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