RHA announces national work experience scheme

RHA and Job Centre Plus will launch a nationwide work experience scheme in June of this year, after a pilot in Hampshire.

While no hauliers have been signed up to the new scheme to date, the RHA hopes to involve more than 100 companies across the country.

Twenty job seekers took part in the trial period, each spending two weeks with RHA members in the Eastleigh, Portsmouth and Southampton areas, where they were given first-hand experience of life in the haulage industry.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said the success of the trial period has given him the confidence to take the scheme to a national scale.

He said: “It will be a really significant project in promoting the industry and in strengthening our members’ understanding of what JCP can contribute to the success of their businesses. The scheme will also get some of the candidates into employment in the industry.”

Mark Breakey, operations manager at Steve Porter Transport (one of firms involved in the pilot), said the scheme exposes both employers and jobseekers to an experience they may not have had otherwise.

“The candidates can show what they can do to employers who, based on their application form, might not give them an interview. But I don’t want people who are good at interviews - I want people who can do the job. We had people on placement who, definitely, I would choose but would not normally have seen,” he said.