In the UK right now there is a shortage of licensed, qualified HGV drivers. This is having an impact on the haulage industry as well as the UK economy and it currently shows no sign of improving.
The UK is currently 60,000 HGV drivers short and it is predicted that the shortfall could be as drastic as 150,000 drivers.
With the average age of HGV drivers being 53, much older than the national average, and only 2% under the age of 25 many drivers are coming up to retirement while not enough young drivers are coming through to replace them.
The HGV driver shortage is limiting the haulage industry’s ability to deliver high quality services. If something isn’t done to attract more drivers to the industry the shortage will have a huge impact on goods being delivered around the UK and beyond.
What are the causes of the HGV driver shortage?
There are many factors that are contributing to the shortage of qualified drivers, here are some examples that have been attributed to the shortage.
- An aging workforce: With an average age of 53 and 13% of HGV drivers over 60 a lack of new drivers coming through to replace the retired ones is a big concern.
- Economic growth: The economic growth both nationally and internationally has increased the demand for HGV drivers to move more goods.
- More directives from the EU: The introduction of the controversial Drivers CPC has meant experienced drivers are required to take extra training.
- Financial costs of becoming a HGV driver: The cost of the driving tests, medical, initial Drivers CPC and a digital tachograph card.
- Lack of acceptable facilities: A lack of acceptable facilities such as clean, working toilet facilities in service stations and secure, safe lorry parks is not helping existing driver morale and retention.
- Wages: Profit margins are seemingly low, even considering demand is so high.
- Insurers: Many haulage operators will not take on drivers under 25, even though they are qualified, as the insurance premiums would be too high.
Work/Life balance: The long hours and time away from home is having a direct impact on the amount of people joining the industry.
Here are some of the results from the CILT driver shortage survey conducted in January 2015.
You will clearly see that a number of these drivers are mentioning poor wages, yet when the transport operators were surveyed they do not see the wages as much of a cause. Both drivers and operators seem to agree that the facilities are poor and there are too many financial barriers.
Our software offers a solution for existing haulage drivers in the UK. If you're looking for more information on becoming an HGV driver, please visit the government website.