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.
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.
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.