Is there a HGV driver shortage or a shortage of appealing jobs?

Published: 10 February 2016

Is there a HGV driver shortage or a shortage of appealing jobs?
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It seems that there are many HGV licence holders who currently refuse to drive trucks.

 
The strongly-noted shortage of HGV drivers in the UK may be allocated more to an absence of appealing employment options in the industry than a lack of large goods vehicle (HGV) licence owners, a transport advisor stated.
 
The strongly-noted shortage of professional HGV drivers in the UK may be the result of the lack of appealing employment rather than a lack of qualified licence holders, according to a transport advisor.
 
Kirsten Tisdale, head of logistics consultancy Aricia Ltd, has analysed a release of information request of the DVLA for the number of Category C and C + E licence holders with and without the Driver CPC certificate.
 
Kirsten compared these figures to the figures released by the ONS’ Labour Force Survey, which tracked the number of people who said they were working as HGV drivers during June-September 2015.
 
The outcome of this analysis could be alarming to the industry. There are approximately 80,000 people with a Category C or C + E HGV licence and a valid Driver CPC, aged between 25 – 44, who are not enrolled as HGV drivers.
 
Furthermore there are 90,000 people aged 25 – 34 holding C or C + E licences, who do not have a valid Driver CPC. All these people would be able to work as HGV drivers with if they just completed the Driver CPC.
 
Ms Tisdale warns that these statistics come with an uncertain amount of serving armed forces who are unavailable to haulage operators. However, these figures puts the estimated 60,000 HGV drivers needed into perspective.
 
Could this analysis mean that there isn’t really a driver shortage but rather a shortage of appealing employment? Has the oversupply of qualified drivers factored towards the disappointing wages and conditions, resulting in unappealing job prospects?
 
If all those qualified to be HGV drivers no longer want the job as a career it is important to find out why and ensure that any new prospects that are attracted to the industry are not put off by the same things.
 
We have asked the question to a number of drivers as to what is currently causing the driver shortage and the feedback was pretty unanimous. The main reasons were:
 
Poor wages
Unacceptable facilities at service stations and truck parks
Long hours
The way they are treated, a number of drivers feel they are not treated with respect
VOSA and the fines that are brandished out
A poor work to life balance
The Drivers CPC
The cost of medicals 
 
Perhaps the key to ending the driver shortage is to concentrate on the issues that are stopping so many qualified people from doing the job rather than trying to attract more people (that might just leave).
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