According to figures published by the ONS HGV drivers have benefited from above average, above inflation increases in their wages this year. The reason for the increase looks as though operators are paying more to secure their drivers in view of the current driver shortage.
Provisional figures published by the ONS shows that HGV drivers wages rose 3.2% in 2015 compared with the average wage increase across the UK of 1.8%. Inflation stood at -0.1% in October. Its 2015 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings
showed that the average pay increase of a HGV driver salary rose from £26,455 in 2014 to £27,313.
To put HGV drivers wages into perspective the average full-time salary across the UK was £27,600, confirming that HGV drivers are still being paid less than the national average.
James Hookham, FTA deputy chief, said UK operators were pushing back against the current driver shortage. ‘’We’ve always said the driver shortage can only partly be solved by the government. The task for making the industry more attractive falls to the industry itself. Our members have done what they had to do, found new ways and incentives to engage their drivers with that business so they didn’t go somewhere else.’’
Hookham believes there will be ‘’more of this to come’’.
ONS data showed that the number of HGV drivers has risen from 150,000 to 161,000 since 2014.
Hookham said that while this figure was encouraging, the industry has no way of measuring the extent of efforts to solve the driver shortage as it is difficult to measure how many drivers are leaving the profession each year. ‘’We only see one half of the equation, it shows we’re pouring more into the bucket, but we don’t know how big the hole is at the bottom.’’