Driving an LGV is one of those jobs that many people don’t think twice about, but in reality is vital for our country. Which is why it’s sad that even now, several years on, the UK is still struggling with a shortage of qualified HGV drivers, especially when the demand has never been higher. If you aren’t a British citizen, and are qualified to drive an LGV in your country, you might be looking at moving to the UK for work – after all there is plenty of it! But what does that look like, and is it even possible?
When it comes to work permits for the UK, the rules are anything but simple. There are dozens of types of work permits and visas you can apply for, including 5 long-term work visas and 7 short-term ones, and visas for specific industries. The logistics industry doesn’t have it’s own specific visa, so unless you have an employer who is sponsoring you in with a job already lined up, it’s likely you’ll be applying for a General Work Visa (Tier 2). This means you’re a general worker, looking to work in the UK.
If you are applying for an industry that has a shortage of workers in the UK (like LGV driving), you can apply for a work permit for up to 3 years, your fees will be reduced. At time of writing, a work visa just for yourself will cost just £464.
The thing that’s going to cause a stumbling block is less likely to be the actual work permit, but the qualifications you need. Because to drive an LGV professionally in the UK you need:
You see, the rules around driving HGVs for a living are quite clear, and the rules around driving in the UK with a foreign licence are also quite clear.
If you’re just looking to drive yourself around in the UK, in any kind of small vehicle (like a car or a motorbike), then you just need to have the relevant licence for that vehicle in your own country. This will allow you to drive in the UK for 12 months (from the last time you entered the country). But this doesn’t cover larger vehicles, or driving professionally.
If you want to drive an LGV professionally in the UK, you need to hold a UK drivers licence, a Driver CPC, and a UK HGV licence. All of which need to have been studied for and tested in the UK. So if you want to come into the country on a work visa and pick up an LGV driving job right away, you might struggle unless your employer is sponsoring you in.
If you are looking to move to the UK on a work visa to become an LGV driver, then you will need to train. Even if you already know how to drive and have been doing so professionally in your own country, you will still need to retrain with the UK rules. This means you will need to do your UK drivers licence tests (which thankfully can be fast-tracked fairly easily, especially if you already know how to drive), and then take a Driver CPC with an HGV training school. This is the Certificate of Professional Competence, and shows you have the skills and safety to drive professionally. Once that’s done, all you need is to choose your LGV qualification, and train in that. Most training can be done in a few weeks, so we can get you on the road in no time.
At The HGV Training Centre, we specialise in training drivers from any place or of any skill level. Our professional trainers will work with you to understand your situation and goals, and tailor their training to fit your needs. We believe that everyone as the right to become an LGV driver if they want to, and we will work hard to ensure your dream can become a reality, no matter where you’re from. If you’d like to find out more, just get in touch with our team today.
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