UK Freight Association Report Highlights Concerns on Shortfall of …
However New Apprenticeship Funding Warmly Welcomed UK – A report by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) released today shows that the ongoing driver shortage in the UK has reduced somewhat, but highlights the sector’s reliance on staff from the European Union. The ‘Driver Shortage: issues and trends’ report calculates that there is a shortfall between the number of registered HGVs and the number of qualified drivers of 34,567 – back to the pre-driver crisis levels of 2012. This is attributed to an increased number of employed truck drivers and rising salaries, on average twice the rate of inflation through overtime and bonuses.
The heavy reliance on other EU nationals employed as HGV drivers however is a cause of concern after the Brexit vote, with more than 30,000 or 10% of the entire UK driver workforce coming from the continent.
The FTA want the British government to quickly rule on the status of European nationals working in the UK’s road haulage industry to reassure its members. The FTAs Deputy Chief Executive James Hookham said: “The report highlights the industry’s reliance on EU nationals.
The uncertainty about their employment rights and status once Britain leaves the EU is a major concern for businesses. We urge the Government to ensure its Brexit negotiations afford special status to logistics and allow for this employment to continue so that the industry is not hit by another driver shortage crisis. “We also need better roadside facilities, especially if we are going to attract more women into the industry, and more help from Government with the cost of acquiring a vocational licence, which is often cited as a barrier to recruitment.”
The UK government meanwhile has announced that it intends to improve the funding for its apprenticeship programme, which includes training future freight vehicle drivers and this news has been greeted warmly by the Road Haulage Association. The RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “I am delighted at today’s announcement.
This can be a real game-changer in the way haulage firms recruit and train drivers and others coming into the industry.
It has the potential is to drive up standards in the industry and to reduce our reliance on drivers and others from abroad.
It will benefit the UK economy, companies that take on apprentices and the individuals themselves, through increased training and transferable skills.”
- ^ FTA (www.fta.co.uk)
- ^ ongoing driver shortage (www.handyshippingguide.com)
- ^ ‘ (www.fta.co.uk)
- ^ Driver Shortage: issues and trends’ (www.fta.co.uk)
- ^ RHA (www.rha.uk.net)