Since the incorporation of the Driver CPC qualification card in 2014 there has been numerous discussions regarding the falling number of HGV drivers in the UK and the urgency to try and attract new people into the industry. According to the FTA (freight transport association) the UK has a driver shortfall of approx 60,000 for large goods vehicles with up to 46% of hauliers admitting they find it difficult to recruit or fill vacancies at all.
out of the 285,000 LGV Drivers employed in the UK an FTA survey showed that only 28% where under the age of 45 in fact according to Comensura the average age of a HGV driver is 53 and that the Road Haulage Association estimate that around 35,000 drivers will retire in the next 2 years the industry must work harder to attract new people.
How is this problem solved?
The large 3PL and retailers have acted by introducing a warehouse to wheels program which enables current employees to train into the role without the financial commitment of doing the training yourself whilst still working in their current role. This program has been a real positive.
If you are unemployed or not working with a employer that offers a warehouse to wheels solution then the cost of obtaining your licence can run into thousands with no guarantee of a full time position at the end of it. If a apprenticeship or funding can be given in the form of a “student loan” as I feel that this would ease the financial burden from the upfront cost and then become more appealing.
There also needs to be an increase in the pay HGV drivers receive, a survey conducted by total jobs said that in April 2017 the average salary for a HGV Driver was £26,406 a drop of £1,119 (6%) from 2016 which based on a 50 hour working week equates to £10.15 per hour.
Being a HGV driver is necessarily high on the list of young peoples dream job list but there needs to be a real emphasis on encouraging younger drivers to invest in becoming a HGV Driver and is something the whole industry should get behind