HGV driver shortage hits crisis level
As has been long predicted by the RHA, the UK HGV driver shortage has now hit catastrophic proportions and the organisation has now published it’s 12-point plan to tackle the situation
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The upturn in the economy since Covid19 is increasing demand across supply chains and the reopening of non-essential retail outlets and parts of the hospitality sector is, making the situation even worse.
“The pandemic also resulted in the loss of about 12 months of driver training and testing. The long-term ineffectiveness of apprenticeships for lorry drivers and the general hostility from authorities and Government is also unhelpful as regards recruiting and retaining drivers. And while we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”
All of the above means that freight rates are rising to a level that operators are finding unsustainable and costs will have to be passed on to consumers.
In conclusion, Richard Burnett said: “We need Government to act and address the driver shortage for the industry and the drivers. While we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”
The RHA’s 12-point plan covers the following:
- Include HGV drivers on Government’s Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List
- Coronavirus recovery - a Seasonal Visa Scheme for qualified HGV drivers
- Continued priority driving tests for HGV drivers
- Establish a ‘Return to HGV Driving’ scheme
- Better promotion of the job and the sector as a whole
- Apprenticeship funding gap for C+E drivers in England and Wales
- Apprenticeships for Class C drivers
- A SME-focussed HGV driver training scheme HGV independent training loan scheme
- An independent HGV independent training loan scheme
- Other training schemes – DWP pilots/Road to Logistics
- Increase productivity of the road network
- Improve site productivity and the treatment of drivers at collection and delivery points
The full document, The UK Driver Shortage – RHA calls for action is available here.