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Policy campaign highlight – September 2021

Spotlight on the driver shortage campaign run by the Logistics UK policy team

Logistics UK’s campaign to address the driver shortage in the logistics industry continues to gain momentum, with significant media coverage and engagement across government to call for change.

Last week our Chief Executive, David Wells, met Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, and Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT), in person. The focus was on raising awareness of the crisis and its impact on our industry and supply chains, with an ask for either further increasing Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) driver testing throughput or allowing a number of temporary work visas to allow already qualified drivers from abroad to enter the UK market.

We have also established a direct dialogue with the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng jointly with the British Retail Consortium, which has succeeded in raising the issue, again, across all government departments and the media. In a joint letter, we outlined key three steps the government can take to overcome the problem and protect the supply chain.

Logistics UK has also responded to DVSA’s consultation proposing reforms to the way vocational driver testing is delivered to alleviate pressures on vocational testing capacity. We were supportive of the measures to remove staged testing and allow delegated testing of the manoeuvring exercise. We opposed the proposal to abolish B+E testing unless road safety concerns were mitigated. The government has indicated its intention to implement these changes before the end of 2021.  

Following intensive work by the Trailblazer group, the Institute of Apprenticeships, and direct requests we have made to government, the Institute of Apprenticeships has now given permission to fast track the new ‘Urban Driver’ Apprenticeship standard. The next steps are for the details of the standard to be agreed, and the funding band approved. The Institute aims to have the new apprenticeship approved for delivery later this autumn.  

We have launched a new campaign to promote opportunities in the sector. The Discover Logistics Careers weekend, running from 29 October to 1 November 2021, will encourage local outreach for logistics businesses nationwide and show potential employees the range of job opportunities which currently exist across the sector. Register your interest to support the weekend and run your very own Discover Logistics Careers event by clicking here: https://logistics.org.uk/discover-logistics-careers

We have generated significant press exposure with more than 200 pieces of coverage in the media on the driver shortage issue. Alex Veitch, Logistics UK’s General Manager for Public Policy, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, ITV News, BBC News Channel and BBC World Service, with the policy team also taking part in multiple interviews.

At the same time, we are continuing our work with Department for Working Pensions (DWP) to help it engage with members to match jobseekers to roles; we are speaking to the Department for Education to ensure the Careers Advice Service is promoting logistics to young people; and are pushing for the National Skills Fund to help pay for driver training. We are also continuing to push DfT for immediate action on driver facilities.  

Members wanting to know more about driver shortage and skills issues, please visit the Skills and Employment Advice Hub or join the Employment Action Group by contacting your membership relations manager.


Published On: 16/09/2021 16:00:26


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