The UK government has pledged £1m in funding to a scheme to train ex-offenders as HGV drivers.

Following a successful trial at HM Sudbury Prison, the funding will go to driver training scheme Road to Logistics, a not-for-profit organisation, to train up to 300 drivers in a pilot scheme that would last a year.

Founded in 2016 by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and fleet management systems provider Microlise, Road to Logistics targets ex-veterans, the long-term unemployed and ex-offenders in a bid to tackle the HGV driver shortage. RHA estimates that the UK needs an additional 55,000 qualified drivers.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Not only will this new programme help make this industry even stronger, but it will help pave the way for those who may be struggling to secure a permanent job and turn their lives around.”