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Logistics UK continues to push for action on HGV driver shortage


The rise in driving vacancies and dearth of available HGV drivers to fill them is putting the UK supply chain at risk, Logistics UK has warned.

The business group continues to press hard on the issue at the highest levels of government, requesting immediate action, support and collaboration to find solutions. During a recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Road Freight, attended by several leading MPs, Logistics UK urged Baroness Vere, the minister responsible for road freight, to take further action.

INFORMING DECISION MAKERS

It has also written to a list of highly influential politicians, including Gillian Keegan, the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, and nine MPs who sit on the Education Committee, providing them with a comprehensive update on the issue and ask for their support for Logistics UK’s campaign.

REGULAR ENGAGEMENT

Regular high-level engagement between Logistics UK and the government on the skills issue happens via a series of weekly discussions with key government departments. These include a weekly call with the Department for Transport, which helps the logistics sector inform ministerial thinking and decision making, weekly discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which aim to secure its support to alleviate pressure on the food supply chain, and work with the Department for Education, where Logistics UK presses for reform of the skills funding provision, to allow training for HGV drivers and other roles where there is a skills shortage.

PLAN FALLS SHORT

On Tuesday (20 July 2021), the government announced its plan to support the recovery of the logistics sector and tackle HGV shortages. However, Logistics UK has said that the plan only goes part of the way to addressing the serious problems that the industry is facing, and issued a press statement to that effect. Although the government’s announcement includes a commitment to work with industry leaders to attract new drivers and retain existing ones, it lacked concrete targets and timelines to help the industry recruit new talent.

ENGAGING WITH HM TREASURY

Also this week, Logistics UK discussed the skills issue facing the industry with HM Treasury and urged it to support changes to funding eligibility rules. Today (22 July 2021), Logistics UK held its Employment Action Group, a working group convened to discuss employment and skills issues with Logistics UK member companies and other stakeholders. Its next meeting is scheduled for 15 September 2021.   

Alex Veitch, General Manager – Public Policy, Logistics UK, said: “The skills shortage issue currently being experienced in the logistics industry shows no sign of receding in the foreseeable future and is now in danger of putting supply chains at risk in certain critical sectors, such as food and pharmaceuticals. We will continue to step up our work and engagement across government departments – transport, environment, education and the treasury – to identify and create solutions to this most pressing of issues.”  

*www.logistics.org.uk/skills

Published On: 22/07/2021 16:00:36

 



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