Poundland has confirmed it is offering to help lorry drivers in Essex upgrade their skills to boost recruitment. 

It comes amid shortages of HGV drivers across the country. 

Poundland says it will pay the costs of getting a HGV Class 1 licence – which can be as much as £2,000, including the four-day training course – to enable existing HGV Class 2 licence holders, who drive rigid body units, to move to the next level so they can drive articulated lorries. 

Poundland is offering the support to HGV Class 2 drivers with six months experience, who will go on to a 12 month training contract when they get their Class 1 licence. 

The offer to help fund the costs of getting a Class 1 licence is also open to existing Poundland colleagues and six have already joined the scheme. 

Those working out of one of Poundland’s three distribution centres in Harlow, Springvale and Wigan from July to September will qualify for a £1,000 bonus in October. 

And there is another £1,000 bonus in January for those who work for Poundland between October and December. 

Poundland is currently recruiting more than 100 drivers across the three distribution centres. 

It is looking to take on 40-50 drivers each in Wigan and Harlow and another 15 at Springvale near Bilston. 

In all, Poundland employs around 265 full and part-time drivers at 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.” 

Drivers looking to join the Poundland team and take advantage of the training package can email drivers@poundland.co.uk with details of their current driving licence and experience