HGV driving test numbers reaches record levels - RHA MD Richard Smith gives his view of the current situation.

HGV driving test numbers reaches record levels - RHA MD Richard Smith gives his view of the current situation.

30 Aug 2022 Posted By Kate Gibbs

Although it’s difficult to ascertain if this is because of the government’s HGV Bootcamps, the figures are very encouraging and are a clear sign that the sector is not only attracting higher numbers of drivers, but is achieving excellent pass rates.

Just compare the March 2022 figures of 10,481 tests and 6,307 passes with the pre-Covid era of March 2017 when 7,323 tests and 4,268 passes were recorded.

I’m in no doubt that the positive media stories about the sector have played a significant role, and at the risk of blowing the RHA’s own trumpet, we have played our part in this, and we can confidently say that our own skills campaign is making its mark.

I spoke to RHA policy lead for skills, Sally Gilson, who said: “These record results show what happensmwhen a government prioritises and promotes a sector.

“If the numbers continue to look this good, it shows the extent to which bringing a flexible, fully-funded training programme can impact the HGV and logistics industry.”

I could not put it better myself.

Incidentally, shortly after launching our skills campaign, Logistics UK launched its recruitment and awareness initiative Generation Logistics, aimed at showcasing careers in road freight and logistics and we are delighted to be supporting it. In fact, we were the first trade association to join the initiative.

Generation Logistics will shine a spotlight on those keeping our economy moving and change perceptions, bringing the industry to the fore and attracting new talent as a result.

I was encouraged by the ONS data that says transport and logistics is the UK’s fastest growingmsector, expanding faster than any other industry, including retail manufacturing and construction.

In 2021, the number of transport and logistics premises grew by 88% since 2011 and 21% sincem2019, despite Brexit and Covid woes. Incidentally, transport and storage consists of passenger transport, haulage, warehousing, and postal and courier activities.

And in other news – the Department for Transport has launched a call for evidence on a range of options to help more people access well-paid jobs in haulage.

It is hoped the views will be used to tackle the driver shortage, support new haulage jobs and bolster UK supply chains.

Responses to this consultation are not just down to the industry’s policy makers; we as an organisation urge you as a member to make your voice heard too.

You can have your say here.

The views submitted will help assist the government with ongoing research and will also include themcreation of a formal register of HGV driving instructors, and the publishing of pass rates for instructors.

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