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Driver shortage: Logistics UK works with government and members to ease crisis


Logistics UK has been engaging closely with its members and across all levels of government in recent weeks to seek solutions to the ongoing HGV driver shortage.

Today (21 October 2021), Logistics UK took part in a Ministerial Roundtable held by the Department for Transport and other departments to focus on supply chain challenges. Designed to inform government about the actions being taken to ease issues, the meeting will also help identify what further government action is necessary.

To explore how more freight can be shifted onto rail to help ease the current issues and inform a wider industry response to the Secretary of State, the business group is also attending a meeting with Network Rail this week.

On testing, Logistics UK is meeting with the Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to discuss how to communicate the improved availability of tests to training providers more widely. Booking testing slots is one of two challenges frequently cited by members, along with training candidates for licence acquisition. As a result, the business group has set up a working group dedicated solely to training and testing issues.

Mags Simpson, Head of Policy Engagement, Logistics UK, said: “We encourage members of all sizes, from SMEs to multinationals, and from across all business sectors to join our new working group. We are also interested in hearing from operators providing in-house training, training companies and driver agencies in Logistics UK membership. Working with a wide range of logistics businesses and their suppliers will give us the best chance of tackling this most pressing of issues.”

On the government’s cabotage proposals, where EU drivers can make additional deliveries within the UK before leaving the country, Logistics UK has said while they may help to mitigate the impact of the HGV driver shortage, the measures must be time-limited to ensure that competition from EU businesses only has a minimal impact on British haulage companies. “This must be a short-term measure to support the economy while British drivers are recruited, trained and tested,” a Logistics UK spokesperson said.

Logistics UK has written to its Road Council and Shippers’ Council members to seek their views and will use this feedback to inform its response to the Department for Transport’s consultation on increasing the cabotage allowance.

To help members attract new employees for existing vacancies, Logistics UK is co-ordinating the first Discover Logistics Careers weekend from 29 October to 1 November. Running in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and supported by the Sun on Sunday, the event is designed to build awareness of logistics businesses within their communities and encourage job seekers to consider the industry as a career choice. It’s not too late to enrol an event – please visit www.logistics.org.uk/discover-logistics-careers and register your activity to maximise awareness of your organisation’s recruitment needs.

*www.logistics.org.uk/skills

Published On: 21/10/2021 16:00:13

 

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