Urgency to act over HGV driver shortage

Published: 23 October 2019

Urgency to act over HGV driver shortage
In the UK, it is estimated that there is a shortfall of qualified drivers, with the number of unfilled vacancies increasing significantly daily. “The UK haulage industry is currently facing a shortage of between 45k and 50k HGV drivers and we as an industry need to face this challenge head-on”, claims RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.

Reports from The Sun found that, currently, the average age of a British trucker is 55 years. This therefore means a significant number of the workforce are likely to retire in the next 10 years.

The cost of obtaining a HGV licence remain depends on how much someone is willing to spend on training depends on the kind of licence they are interested in and any other additional courses they might want to take in order to apply for specialist jobs. Yet it is still an expensive obstacle for young people entering the profession. Even then poor parking and inadequate rest facilities are not likely to improve their perception of the industry.

But an initiative created by Hermes in partnership with employment and skills provider Seetec, has been designed to can help address the UK driver shortage.

The apprenticeship recruits aspiring LGV drivers who currently have no driving experience, to support them in achieving their Cat C and Cat C&E Licence. Open to those of any age over 18, the scheme will take 14 months to complete with applicants being awarded a Level 2 apprenticeship. Upon completing the scheme, successful participants will be offered roles as hub drivers in various locations.

Already, the pilot scheme has enabled 14 new apprentice hub drivers to be recruited in April of 2019 and it is now launching across several depots, revamping the old ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ programme. It is has resulted in success at the company Moody Logistics, after helping an employee transition from its distribution depot to life on the road.

Apprenticeships like this are another way of confronting the current driver shortage and gives young prospective truckers a wider appreciation of the industry and a better perception of logistics as they work towards their driver qualifications. This in turn benefits not only them but businesses and the industry as a whole. 
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