Obtaining a heavy goods vehicle operating license can improve your marketability as an employee in the United Kingdom. However, HGV training can be expensive. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to obtain funding for your training in the form of grants or loans. You may also be able to obtain tuition assistance from a government-sponsored program.
About HGV Training
An HGV license is a European certification that allows you to drive trucks with weights of more than 3,500 kilograms. There are three categories of HGV licenses available: category C1, category C and category C and E. The category C1 license allows you to operate vehicles with a maximum gross weight of 7.5 tons. A category C license permit you to operate vehicles with gross weights of up to 32 tons, and the category C and E license allows you to operate any heavy goods vehicle. You must be at least 18 years old to earn any of these licenses.
If you receive government assistance, such as the Jobseekers Allowance, you may qualify for reimbursement for all or a portion of the cost of your HGV training. If you are over age 50 and you are starting a new job, you may qualify for the Fifty Plus In-work Training Grant. Most HGV training schools will also provide you with the opportunity to apply for training grants from the federal government to offset your educational costs, and additional grants may be available from select local governments or charities.
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If you can't qualify for a grant, you may be able to take out a subsidized loan. Some schools offer loans subsidized by the government with zero percent interest rates that may allow you to defer your payments until after you finish the program. You may also to be able to obtain a nonsubsidized loan by applying at a local lending institution, or you may qualify for a government-sponsored Professional and Career Development Loan from a participating lender.
If you are seeking a job, you may be able to secure funding for approved HGV training programs from job centers in your area under the Flexible New Deal, which provides financial assistance to unemployed individuals who are trying to develop new skills. In addition, if your employer requests you to obtain HGV training and offers to pay for it, he may be able to receive government funding under the Skills Enhancement Program. Under this program, your employer must pay the cost of the training up-front, but he can receive reimbursement from the program for 50 percent of the cost he paid.