Aberdeen City Council could target bin lorry drivers from Angus and Tayside as part of a recruitment campaign to fill significant large goods vehicle (LGV) driver positions in the city.
The authority currently has 64 LGV driver posts to run a plethora of services across the city, including waste and recycling.
There are currently 12 vacancies, and despite advertising through newspapers, the radio and social media, just four new drivers have been recruited in the last six months.
To address the issue, work is now ongoing to bring more LGV operators on board and reduce dependency on agency drivers to keep the services on the road.
Some of the options which have been put forward include targeting long-distance drivers seeking a career change by promoting the council in lorry parks, more training for existing staff, and recruiting staff from further afield, including Tayside and Angus.
Tommy Campbell, regional representative for Unite, said the city council should focus on internal recruitment before looking outside of the north-east for staff.
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He said: “They would perhaps be best looking within their existing workforce, particularly the part-time workforce, and encouraging them to consider whether or not they would be interested in being trained to operate LGVs.
“Unite would like to see the council investing in that training, and focusing on in-house staff in the first instance, before looking elsewhere to help solve this problem.”
SNP councillor David Cameron added: “I think the administration need to be clear that anyone working in the organisation who wishes to take on one of these posts – be that through re-training or the like – has the opportunity to do so.
“Obviously, there has been a huge agency cost associated with filing essential posts and the administration should be assessing all options that bring spend down, and recruit in-house.”
Councillor Yvonne Allan, the convener of the city council’s staff governance committee, said training existing staff is one option under consideration by the local authority.
She added: “Industries across the north-east have faced an array of recruitment challenges, especially when it comes to LGV drivers.
“Opportunities for our staff to skill-up and take on new roles is a key part of the transformation model.
“The staff governance committee provides a platform for ideas and suggestions from trade union colleagues to contribute to staff policies such as recruitment and retention.”