With Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine continuing, it’s more important than ever to make those fleeing the conflict not only welcome here, but also to ensure that they’re able to earn a living and build new lives in Ireland.
With that in mind, the Irish Government has laid out plans to ease the route for those arriving with Ukrainian truck and HGV licences to convert those to Irish licences. The new legislation, called The European Union (Driver Qualification Card) (Persons from Ukraine) Regulations 2023, lays out the extra training that holders of Ukrainian Category C or D licences will have to do in order to complete their qualification for an Irish haulage licence.
At the moment, there’s already temporary legislation in place that allows anyone arriving from Ukraine with a normal driver’s licence to use that licence in Ireland. However, a person with C or D categories on their licence (trucks and buses) must have a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) to drive these types of vehicles professionally in Ireland.
35 hours of training
The new legislation formalises the route that Ukrainian HGV licence holders will have to follow — it will include 35 hours of additional compulsory training, eight hours of supervised driving and a driver theory test before obtaining an Irish/EU driver qualification card.
Minister Eamon Ryan said:
“I would invite Ukrainian drivers who hold a C or D category licence and driver qualification card to apply for this new training which will act as a pathway to employment. This is of benefit to many industries across Ireland, including the road transport and public transport industries where we have seen challenges around driver shortages. These regulations underline Government’s commitment to addressing these issues and to ensure the resilience of our supply chain and our public transport systems.”
Dual benefit to the state
Minister of State Jack Chambers added:
“While Ukrainians residing in Ireland under the Temporary Protection Directive have been able to drive here since July, these latest regulations now facilitate truck and bus drivers to obtain the necessary Irish driving qualification. This is of dual benefit to the state, as it supports our efforts to recruit more drivers, and to Ukrainian drivers who are now living here. We look forward to welcoming Ukrainian drivers into the transport sector in the months ahead.”