The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has launched a new HGV Driver Apprenticeship programme at its annual conference in Wexford at the weekend.
The HGV Driver Apprenticeship programme, commencing in September, will be run on a pilot basis in conjunction with the Cavan-Monaghan Education Training Board (ETB), with a view to a nationwide roll-out if the pilot proves successful.
IRHA President Verona Murphy said the three-year apprenticeship, will serve to raise the bar and introduce a professional industry standard for young truck drivers.
Ms Murphy said the apprenticeship would cover every facet of truck driving and that at the end of the three years, that job prospects for the candidate would be very high.
The scheme has the support of Wright Insurance, and a number of leading insurers. CEO Tony Wright said that 30 per cent of HGVs on the road are involved in a road traffic collision at some time or another.
He also commented that the average age of a truck driver in Ireland was 50 and that the HGV Driver Apprenticeship programme, would help to redress this issue, by attracting young blood into the haulage industry.
John Kearney, from the Cavan-Monaghan Education Training Board, said the HGV Driver Apprenticeship programme was the brainchild of the IRHA, and was fulsome on his praise of the Association in helping to put the programme together.