76,000 drivers are needed in the UK according to a recent report from Logistics UK. The organisation wishes to see an urgent catch-up of HGV driver tests and an apprenticeship levy to attract new recruits.
Logistics UK’s Skills and Employment Report has highlighted the impact that Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the British transportation and logistics sector’s underlying skills shortage. According to the study, 79,000 members of the workforce – EU workers – have left Britain in the past 12 months, leaving a significant skills gap.
According to the report, there were 20,500 fewer HGV drivers in Q2 2020, which is a reduction of 6.7% year-on-year; the number of EU HGV drivers fell by 14,275 (36.3%), and there was a drop of 4,000 (1.5%) in UK nationals who are HGV drivers.
Therefore, Logistics UK are calling for interest-free loans or grants to support HGV driver training, an apprenticeship Levy reform, and an urgent catch-up of HGV driver tests cancelled due to COVID restrictions. These measures would be intended to attract new recruits into the sector and ensure that goods and services can continue to move freely.
With a total shortage of 76,000 HGV drivers alone, Logistics UK is urging the government to take immediate action to address the long-term structural issues with the labour market to enable UK workers to step in and fill these vacancies to ensure the UK can keep trading.
Measures advised by Logistics UK include funding to assist with the high costs of driver qualifications through interest-free loans or grants, reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy so businesses can unlock funding, and improvements to driver facilities to make the career more attractive” – – says Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK. -„In addition, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) must overturn its decision to halt all HGV driving tests during the COVID-19 pandemic. The time for talk is over: the government must act now on these issues to secure the future of logistics”.
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