Is There Still a HGV Driver Shortage? Unfortunately, Yes

The shortage of HGV drivers in the UK has reached an all time high, with 64% of transport businesses facing a severe skills shortage, according to the FTA.

With over 60% of drivers being over the age of 44 and less than 20% being under 35, the UK now has one of the largest national shortages, with 60,000 additional drivers needed to bridge the gap.

Despite a national recruitment drive by the Road Haulage Association, there continues to be a growing crisis with around 50 drivers leaving the occupation daily.

Why are so few people wanting to be drivers?

According to a recent Logistic Skills Report, reasons for the reduction in driver recruitment include

  • Brexit implications
  • Concerns about automation
  • Increasing physical demands

Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Campaigns at FTA, commented:

"Too few young people are considering a career as a HGV driver; there are several reasons for this, including a lack of understanding of the industry, poor sector image, working hours and lack of quality driver facilities.

The logistics sector is the lifeblood of the nation’s economy, supplying businesses with the goods they need to operate and contributing a total £124 billion gross value added (GVA) each year. The UK economy cannot operate without HGV drivers; they are an integral part of the logistics workforce and a vital cog in the UK’s interconnected supply chain. Without them, businesses would simply come grinding to a halt and Britain would find it very hard to keep trading."

What is being done to attract potential drivers?

The FTA are calling for the existing Apprenticeship Levy that is currently in place to attract potential new drivers to become a Skills Levy. This would allow potential drivers to access better funding, flexible training programmes and better levels of education.

They are also appealing to the government to improve driver facilities on a national level, making HGV driving a more attractive career for individuals of all ages.

Are you interested in a career as a HGV driver? Find out what it entails on the Gov.uk National Careers Service website.

26 November 2019

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