Scottish woman becomes first female veteran to retrain as haulier

Morag Waygood of Dalbeattie has newly qualified as an HGV driver after retraining with SWS RnR.

The charity, run by CEO Robin Hood, runs two training programmes to help get ex-service personnel through the theory test to enable them to start driver training for the haulage industry.

SWS RnR received £135,500 funding from the UK Government in 2017 to help them achieve this.

Jim McEwan

Morag said: "My sister works for a company that helps people into employment and she had been speaking to Robin for a little while.

“When I moved here a few months ago I couldn’t find work. I have a rigid licence but everyone is looking for articulated lorry drivers.

"I had served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps for four or five years but it was around 20 years ago so I didn’t think they’d be able to help.

“However, they help all veterans. I did the training with Nithcree in Dumfries – I’ve done training with a number of companies and they are the best, they are a great bunch.”

The SWS RnR website states that ex-service personnel embarking on a training programme with SWS RnR receive full board accommodation for the duration of their training.
The training lasts for a week, with Friday being test day for those who have passed their driver training theory test, and can start the practical part of the course the following Monday.

Image: Jim McEwan

Ideally, ex-service personnel would be able to start on a Monday morning and have passed their class one driving test two weeks later, being employed almost immediately.

The charity is well aware that we are approximately 60,000 lorry drivers short in the UK, and is doing a fantastic job of helping to find meaningful work for ex-service personnel as well as filling on this driver shortage. 

Robin Hood said: “It is picking up now that word is getting around on social media. We have got someone coming up from Bournemouth and we have also got a couple of folk from Kilmarnock.

“Obviously this is a milestone for us having our first woman to complete the training. The Ministry of Defence, who gave us the grant, will be happy as they can be seen to be the good guys as we are getting women as well as men.