Home News Features Compliance

🕒 Article read time: 2 minutes

Green shoots for HGV driver shortage, but we’re not there yet


Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy, Logistics UK

There has been much focus in the last year on the shortage of skilled logistics workers, in particular HGV drivers, and therefore, we anticipate much scrutiny of the figures reported in Logistics UK’s seventh Skills & Employment Report. The latest figures for Q3 2021 show there are 44,000 fewer HGV drivers in employment, a fall of 14% compared with Q3 2019. However, this is less than the Q2 reduction of 72,000 (23.4%). So, while we’re still seeing a reduction in drivers, this reduction is slowing.

Logistics UK follows an evidence-based approach to policy so that our policies are acceptable to decision makers. As well as having valid data, we have to be accurate in how we interpret it to ensure we put our focus on the right areas. This is one of the reasons we commission the report from an independent research consultancy, Repgraph, who are very skilled at processing large databases, then scrutinizing and distilling the data to become readily understood information to   support policy work. They are experts in logistics and employment data.

We have this year decided to make some changes in how we measure the driver shortage. There is no definitive method for calculating a figure for driver shortage, as direct measurement is not possible since it is very difficult to estimate the absence of something. We will be moving away from measuring the absence of workers to measuring the presence of workers as estimated by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This means we are using an index of the number of HGV drivers in employment as this represents the actual job estimates rather than an absence of workers. Deriving an actual driver shortage figure is not as essential as the ability to track its movement over time using a consistent measurement methodology.

We can take some positives from the Skills & Employment Report, indicators of green shoots giving hope of improvements in the future. My team has been pushing this year for the government to take action to ease some of the barriers for drivers, and there are early signs of improvement. For example, HGV driver testing increased by 25.6% in Q3 this year compared to Q3 2019 and the number of applications for provisional licences are reported to be three times higher than pre-pandemic levels. With it taking approximately three months to train a driver and another three months to be fully operational, we should begin to see improvements shortly. And next year will see the delivery of government-funded Bootcamps for an additional 5,000 drivers.

In the meantime, industry has made adaptations to mitigate the impact of vacancies further, such as through consolidated deliveries, fewer deliveries and fewer ranges of products. Companies have also taken action, such as increasing pay, with our own data finding an 18% pay increase since the beginning of year (nine months to Q3), and for some classes of HGV the rate of increase has hit 29%.

Hopefully we’ll continue to see more progress on our policy solutions, to support those green shoots, and we are pushing for better driving facilities, an immigration policy that enables the economy to thrive and further government investment in training. I remain hopeful that we will see some of the benefits of the action taken this year in our 2022 report.

The Skills & Employment Report is available to download at the link below.

*www.logistics.org.uk/skills

Published On: 16/12/2021 16:00:44

 



Latest articles

Logistics UK puts call out for UK’s best van operators

Logistics UK’s Van Awards are back for 2022! Celebrating the UK’s best van operators, their achievements in the van industry, and recognising and rewarding those businesses that place safety and compliance at the heart of their operations, the winners in eight award categories will be announced at a ceremony to be held in the Hyatt Regency Birmingham on 16 September 2022.

Read time: 2 minutes

View article

Consider mitigations for freight before expanding ULEZ, Logistics UK urges TfL

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) could be expanded to cover almost the whole of the capital from 29 August 2023, following the launch of a consultation by Transport for London (TfL) last Friday (20 May 2022).

Read time: 2 minutes

View article

Government funding for self-driving services a welcome step forward, says Logistics UK

Logistics UK has welcomed the government’s £40 million competition to kick-start commercial self-driving services, including delivery vehicles, announced earlier this week (23 May 2022).

Read time: 2 minutes

View article

Next page

Helping you manage fuel in uncertain times

Interested in Membership?

Get in contact using the Membership Enquiry Form.

Membership Enquiry Form

Logistics Magazine Portal

The hub for finding relevant and informative features, news & compliance guides from Logistics Magazine

Logistics Magazine Portal Home

Sponsorship Opportunities

Learn more about advertising on the new digital Logistics Magazine, with a variety of advert options to reach 30,000 relevant readers.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Magazine Contents

News

Logistics Magazine will cover all the latest news on stories breaking in the industry, including developments on COVID-19,  Brexit, Clean Air Zones, transport law and decarbonisation.

News

Features

Our frequent features will tackle the broader issues affecting logistics such as the COVID-19 vaccination programme, technology and innovation, the political and economic landscape, global trade and the drive to reduce emissions across all transport modes.

Features

Compliance

Each month we explore a different topic in depth in our popular Compliance section, while each week we will publish answers put to our Member Advice Centre team.

Compliance

View Supplements and Previous Printed Editions

View Supplements and previous printed editions of Logistics Magazine here.

Previous