Employers struggle to find HGV drivers

Published: 03 August 2016

Employers struggle to find HGV drivers
A Government Transport Committee has stated that serious work is needed for the future of the haulage industry, as employers struggle to find new HGV drivers.

The haulage industry and the government plan to work together to develop a solution to the recruitment problem the industry currently faces.

 
MP's working as part of the Transport Committee revealed in a report that the mind-set isn’t “sufficiently targeted or wide-reaching” to provide the HGV drivers urgently needed to resolve the HGV driver shortage which is predicted to worsen as time goes by. 

Haulage associations’ estimates from the report demonstrate a decline of 45,000-60,000 drivers with another 40,000 departing their vehicles by 2017. 

 
It is believed that many of the contributions to the decline include the amount of investment required to earn a HGV licence, with little training along with poor working conditions and unsatisfactory road facilities.

A survey conducted by freight exchange Returnloads.net showed what HGV drivers thought the reasons were behind the shortage.

The main reasons for the shortage of HGV Drivers
driver-shortage-survey-results.jpg

 
Louise Ellman MP stated that the shortage is no new news, however the drivers and government need to co-operate and make a scheme to focus on recruiting future drivers and ensuring they are satisfied in their job roles.
 
She told reporters: “After years of under-investment in the sector, let's encourage skilled drivers back into their cabs by improving the image of the profession, revisiting pay and conditions, and providing proper and secure facilities at depots and on the roadside.
 
“Who are the drivers of the future? Let's look to female drivers, young drivers and BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] drivers, currently under-represented in the sector. Government and industry should review apprenticeships, reduce training costs and insurance, and demonstrate clear career progression.
 
“If people are unwilling to work in the sector, it is up to industry and government to change perceptions. Almost everything we use in our daily lives has, at some point, been transported by a large goods vehicle. UK plc relies on them.”

A recent report showed that there are 80,000 people with a category C or C+E HGV licence and valid Driver CPC aged between 25 - 44 who are not currently enrolled as HGV drivers. A further 90,000 aged between 25 - 44 with C or C+E who only need to take their Drivers CPC to be eligible to be a HGV driver.

These figures show that there isn't a shortage of qualified drivers, it shows that qualified drivers do not want to work in the industry.

 
Gethin Roberts, managing director of driving staffing specialist Drivers Direct spoke with recruiter telling them appealing to new drivers won’t be as simple as it would’ve been 30 years ago. Applications have declined by more than 32k over the last 5 years because of the cost of application. 
 
“To combat this we need to secure more funding for vocational training, better driver facilities, quicker turnaround of medical queries by the DVLA and a campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of working in the sector,” Roberts stated.
 
“For our own part, we are working to raise the industry profile at a local branch level, attending and recruiting at popular events as well as working with organisations whose personnel share many of the common skill sets needed in drivers such as being organised, punctual and responsible.”
 
Richard Owen-Hughes, company director of Driver Hire spoke of the importance of trucking being viewed positively as a career worth having for all sectors in the industry to increase the amount of applications for a HGV licence.
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