Last year’s successful FTA ‘Driver Crisis Summit’ attracted over 600 participants from across the haulage industry and discussed the problems and challenges arising from the UK’s chronic shortage of HGV drivers for delivery work. |
Following on from the “Driver Crisis Summit’, the Freight Transport Association will be holding, at the Ricoh Arena on March 17th 2016, the “Logistics Skills Summit – Attract, Recruit, Retain”.
Exploding Demand – Crippling Driver Shortage
The UK’s logistics and haulage industries have, for the past few years, been experiencing a chronic shortage of engineers, technicians and professional HGV drivers. At the same time, there is an ever increasing demand for road haulage services. Some 1.5 billion tons of domestic goods were shipped by road in 2014, and this constituted 88% of all domestic traffic. Figures for 2015 are expected to stay the same, but the percentage of road hauled freight will most probably drop due to the shortage of drivers.
In the past five years, applications for an HGV vehicle drivers licence have fallen by more than 32,000. Of those drivers that do remain behind the wheel, over half of those on domestic routes are over 50 and some 13,000 are already over the age of 65. Only 8% of the UK’s HGV drivers are under the age of 30 which could cause problems of continuity further down the line. According to Manpower UK, at the present time the industry needs an additional 45,000 HGV drivers in order to keep up with the demands for delivery work. Encouraging Young People to Take to the Road
According to the FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, James Hookham, the past year did see a slight reduction in the number of driver vacancies, but nowhere near enough to meet present and future demands. He also stated that the new Department of Business, Innovation & Skills approved that the HGV Driver Trailblazer Apprenticeship scheme, when it comes online in September 2017, will go a long way to encourage more young people to enter the profession.
The March summit will be held in cooperation with the Department for Work and Pensions Business Sector, which will be looking at ways in which Job Centre Plus clients and the Universal Credit scheme can be used to encourage people seeking employment to consider the haulage industry driver as an attractive and worthwhile career opportunity and become a HGV delivery worker.
It is hoped that the summit will provide companies with the means and incentives to make the profession more attractive and to recruit new manpower from school leavers, armed service leavers, EU workers and unemployed young people.
Tickets for this event are free and will be offered on a “first come, first served” basis. Go to the FTA site at www.fta.co.il/events to register.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry across the UK and Europe. It provides services for matching delivery work and to buy and sell road transport and haulage work in the domestic and international markets. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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