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Shortage of HGV drivers places business recovery at risk, Logistics Report 2021 shows
The recruitment of drivers is an ‘extreme barrier’ to the recovery of close to one in ten logistics businesses (9.8%), according to Logistics Report 2021 published last week (21 May 2021).
Against the backdrop of higher unemployment – predicted to rise to at least 5.5% this year – Logistics UK is urging the government to take immediate action to unlock access to these careers for new recruits to the sector, in order to support the recovery of British businesses.
ROLES EXPECTED TO REMAIN VACANT
The Logistics Report 2021 shows that almost three in ten (29%) logistics businesses anticipate that they will be unable to fill vacancies for HGV drivers this year, while a further one in seven (14.5%) expect long delays before filling a role.
“With the logistics industry in urgent need of these workers, Logistics UK is urging the government to provide interest free loans or grants to train or reskill potential employees and help recruit them into the logistics industry,” said Alex Veitch, General Manager – Public Policy, Logistics UK.
TESTING THE INDUSTRY’S PATIENCE
Logistics UK is also urging the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to maintain its fast-track programme to catch-up on at least 30,000 driving tests that were postponed due to COVID-19 between March and December 2020; this has left thousands of potential HGV drivers waiting in the wings when the UK needs them most to support every facet of UK PLC.
STALLING POST-PANDEMIC RECOVERY
“With almost one in ten (9.8%) of logistics businesses reporting that the recruitment of drivers is an ‘extreme barrier’ to the recovery of their business,” Veitch continued, “the nationwide shortage of HGV drivers is stalling businesses’ recovery from the pandemic. With a large pool of potential candidates available – owing to the nation’s higher unemployment – we urge the government to make driver training affordable, accessible and attractive for all.”
STAFF SHORTAGES ACROSS THE BOARD
The report also identified that staff shortages are expected across a range of operational roles in 2021, including fitter, mechanic and technician vacancies: 37% of respondents anticipate being unable to fill vacancies for these jobs this year.
The Logistics Report 2021 also shares insights into the UK’s competitiveness, international trade, connectivity, costs, sustainability, and safety and innovation.
Published On: 27/05/2021 17:00:52