Ensure we have a diverse, skilled workforce across the whole industry now and in the future. 

The skills shortage in the road transport sector is a chronic issue that continues to affect supply chains.  The investment in skills funding by the UK government for HGV driver skills bootcamps has helped stabilise the HGV driver shortage, however this needs to be replicated across the devolved governments to ensure that hauliers in devolved nations are not at a commercial disadvantage.

With over 10,000 new drivers gaining their licence via the bootcamps in England since their introduction in 2022, we welcome the continued investment and will campaign to ensure that this is continued.

However, the bootcamps offer opportunities outside of HGV driving and with coach operators experiencing the same driver shortages, it makes sense to add Category D training to the HGV bootcamps to make them a Heavy Vehicle driver bootcamp.

Beyond driving, our members across both coach and haulage are struggling to recruit and train vehicle technicians and are reporting delays with maintenance providers. With the heavy vehicle technician apprenticeship costs rising but the funding not keeping apace, we’ve seen colleges and training providers pulling out of the market.

We’ve been working with UK Government across departments to improve funding and although we saw an increase last year, we still need to see a funding uplift.

Without technicians keeping our vehicles safely on the road, there will not be deliveries.

It is also key that the Apprenticeship Levy provides greater flexibility of training courses so employers can choose from either apprenticeships or shorter courses.

The sector still struggles to attract younger people and one of the reasons for this is a lack of knowledge of the sector. With the roll out of T-Levels, we see an opportunity to help raise the profile by developing a Logistics T-Level, covering the global supply chain, sustainable logistics, different transport modes, regulations and warehousing. It would provide a complete overview of the sector allowing learners to either move onto an apprenticeship or university.

The RHA is committed to working with training providers, the education sector, the Department for Work and Pensions and governments across the UK to make a career in logistics an attractive option for school leavers to provide the next generation of home-grown HGV and coach drivers, technicians, transport managers and all the other specialist roles.

In 2023, RHA invested in a heavy vehicle driver simulator for driver training at our Bathgate site. It provides a safe environment to provide initial assessments and training. Following the training simulator, RHA invested in another simulator for promotional activities, so school children and general public can safely try driving an HGV or coach. So far, the simulator has been used in schools, careers shows, industry events and MP engagement. It works as a great opportunity to raise awareness of the logistics sector whilst providing a fun experience. It helps highlight the skill involved in driving large vehicles.

Our key asks on skills are:

  • A new T-Level in Logistics
  • Reform of the Apprenticeship Levy
  • Extension of the Skills Bootcamp to include Cat D licence, tyre fitting and vehicle inspections
  • Increased funding for heavy vehicle technician apprenticeships
  • Increased local skills investment in the industry
  • Plan for the green skills of the future