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Haulage Industry facing biggest driver shortage in years

Over the past few years, the driving industry has continued to face the ill-effects of a drop in new recruits and an ageing workforce. Described recently by many as a “ticking time bomb”, employers throughout the logistics and driver industries appear to be facing a huge problem in the recruitment and retention of drivers, and this was highlighted in a number of reports which heard that hauliers have more lorries than staff to drive them.

One particular report by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) found that drivers blamed antisocial hours, poor pay and regular attacks at the Channel Crossing for putting people off the career, while the conditions attached to the job – passing a medical and completing driver training – can be also be daunting.

The Road Haulage Association says that the UK needs to train around 35,000 new drivers a year, but the reality is less than half – around 17,000. At the same time, 60% of lorry drivers are aged 45 and over compared to 1% under 25.

Many recruiters and logistics experts feel that more needs to be done to promote the industry to the new generation, giving those currently of school-leaving age more incentives to take up a long-term career in driving. Whilst the government pledged to look into the funding of young HGV drivers in the upcoming budget, many feel that even more needs to be done to bridge the recruitment gap in the industry.

Although evidence put to the Transport Committee suggested that the development of driverless vehicles and lorry “platooning” will in future reduce demand for drivers, that is little help in the current situation. Aside from extra funding being made available for driver training, many logistics firms feel that both workable hours and the time it takes to train drivers needs to be reviewed.

We will be constantly reviewing the situation within the driving & logistics industry over the coming months, but if you’d like to hear more about the wide range of driver jobs that we currently have available then please view our driver recruitment section.

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