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Brexit and COVID-19 are having a severe impact on skills shortage, new report shows


Recently published by Logistics UK, the Skills and Employment Report 2020 highlights the severe impact Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic are having on the logistics sector’s underlying skills shortage.

BREXODUS LEADS TO LABOUR SHORTAGES

The combined forces of Brexit and COVID-19 have exposed the structural issues within the logistics labour market, according to Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK.

“Logistics UK’s Skills and Employment Report 2020 reveals that 79,000 members of the workforce – EU workers – have left the country in the past 12 months, leaving a significant skills gap,” she said. “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.”

MORE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT REQUIRED

Logistics UK has called for interest-free loans or grants to assist with the high cost of driver qualifications, reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy so businesses can unlock funding, and improvements to driver facilities to make the career more attractive. In addition, the business group is calling for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to put plan in place to catch up on all the HGV driving tests it cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The time for talk is over,” Elizabeth de Jong said, “the government must act now on these issues to secure the future of logistics.”

FEWER DRIVERS, BIGGER SKILLS GAPS

According to the report there were 25,000 fewer HGV drivers in the second quarter of 2020, 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.

“What is currently happening in employment in our industry is a complex interaction of decision making across many government departments, demographics, competition, public and private infrastructure provision and social values,” said David Wells, Logistics UK’s Chief Executive, “The full report will help you unpick this and appreciate some of the long-term employment issues facing logistics.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/skills

Published On: 14/01/2021 17:00:44

 



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