Community Council Government Newry NMD Council South Armagh South Down

Newry, Mourne and Down Employment Academy Drives Careers Forward with New HGV Licence Training

A new initiative to address skills shortages and improve employment opportunities for those interested in a career in the transport and logistics industry, has been established by Newry Mourne and Down District Council through the Newry, Mourne and Down Labour Market Partnership, in conjunction with a number of key local firms.

The Newry, Mourne and Down Labour Market Partnership is an initiative funded by the Department for Communities which will see targeted employment action plans created in council areas to support people towards and into work, including young people and those with disabilities.

The NMD Drivers Employment Academy will fully fund in the region of 35 eligible individuals to gain a HGV licence (Class 1 or Class 2) and a guaranteed interview, on successfully obtaining a HGV licence.  The Council are delighted to have on board a number of local employers who have engaged in the initiative, to promote the employment opportunities in transport and logistics and highlight the local need for skilled drivers to meet the demand within a growing industry. 

The HGV Driver Academy Programme aims to support economic recovery and provide viable job prospects for men and women who are unemployed, under-employed or at risk of redundancy.

Minister for Communities Deirdre Hargey said, “I am delighted that my Department can support the HGV Drivers Employment Academy through the Newry Mourne and Down Labour Market Partnership.  This project provides support for employers within the transport and haulage sector to help fill driver vacancies, as well as citizens who can progress in this area as a career.  I wish each of the participants every success, in what I am sure will prove to be a successful career choice.”

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason, welcomed the commencement of the HGV Drivers Employment Academy, “The Transport and Haulage sector is critical to ensuring we all have access to essential supplies and will continue to play a key part in the growth of our local economy. We have received a high level of interest for participants wanting to take part in the Academy and it presents a great opportunity for those interested in getting on the road to a career in the industry. The process of obtaining a HGV licence can be very expensive, so the funded training places are an attractive option to enter the sector and an opportunity that the Council is delighted to be able to offer to local residents”.

Cllr Mason continued, “There has been strong interest from local employers in the scheme who have voiced concerns to Council on the need to address skills shortages and invest in their own future plans for growth. As such, the Council is keen to hear from District based employers who anticipate recruiting Category C (Class 2) or Category C+E (Class 1) drivers this year and wish to work with us to help address these recruitment needs.”

If you are an employer based within the Newry Mourne and Down District Council area and wish to receive more information on the HGV Drivers Employment Academy, please contact by email at


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