The chronic shortage of qualified drivers continues to make HGV news headlines, unsurprising given the Nation’s use of road haulage across the supply chain.
According to a report by the BBC (June 2015), statistics reveal that some 1.6 billion tonnes of goods are transported by road in the UK, in an industry worth nearly £30 billion.
The shortage of drivers upon which haulage operators may call, therefore, is indeed a concern for the supply chain network nationwide.
According to the non-profit organisation Skills for Logistics, for every qualified professional driver there are currently nine vacancies in the Northampton area alone.
But shortages are not only local and the whole industry requires an additional 150,000 drivers by the year 2020, says the report.
Given the whole industry currently employs a total of just 285,000 HGV drivers it suggests that qualified drivers are leaving the profession in droves.
Why is there such a shortage?
Possible reasons for the shortage include:
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)
It has been argued that the introduction of a compulsory 35 hours periodic training every five years may be a disincentive for those already in the industry and those thinking about joining it Experienced drivers approaching retirement may have been tempted to leave early rather than go through the hoops of re-qualification Younger drivers may have been put off by the additional expense of training both for the driver CPC itself and for its regular re-validation However, other road users, the industry itself and insurers – such as specialist providers Isis Insurance and others – welcome the contribution made to overall road safety
The driver CPC is not the only area in which a new approach to ongoing training is required Every aspect of logistics are becoming ever more sophisticated and constant re-training is necessary to keep up with new technologies available
The average age of the HGV driver is 53, with their imminent retirement posing a demand for faster turnover at a time when too few youngsters are being attracted to the profession Whilst the average age is 53, the over 60s represent 13% of all drivers, and only 2% are under the age of 25
A career as a professionally qualified HGV driver is often not perceived as a “career of choice” The Freight Transport Association (FTA) for one, therefore, welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor last March that the government would lend its weight improving the professional image of the industry and its participants This included measures to speed up booking procedures and the conduct of HGV driving tests and required medical assessments
Shortages are exacerbated by the high demand for moving goods by road, thanks to the UK’s strengthening economic status and the opportunities for expanding both domestic and international trade.
Whilst driver shortages continue, management of the supply chain across the country is likely to be under increasing pressure.
Source Autotrader Trucks