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Logistics UK broadly welcomes government measures to ease HGV driver shortage


Logistics UK welcomed the package of measures announced by government at the weekend (25 September 2021), aimed at easing the HGV driver shortage.

“The decision to grant 5,000 temporary HGV driver visas to help overcome the driver shortage crisis in the short term is a huge step forward in solving the disruption to supply chains we are seeing,” said Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK, “We are so pleased the government has listened to our calls and has made this bold decision to support the UK economy.” 

However, Logistics UK also called on government not to reduce the visa eligibility period below three months. At the time of writing there are suggestions that they may only be available for two months, which would make it very difficult to attract EU drivers.  

In addition to increasing DVSA HGV testing capacity, Logistics UK was also pleased that the government listened to its request for additional training support by providing funded courses to enable more people to qualify as HGV drivers. 

“This, alongside the current apprenticeship standard is fantastic news for recruiting more talent into industry,” Elizabeth de Jong continued.  

“Logistics UK is also delighted that DfT has agreed to jointly send nearly one million letters to all drivers who currently hold an HGV driving licence, urging them to come back to the occupation. Conditions of employment and pay have been improving across the sector, and with fantastic opportunities available, now is the perfect time to consider returning to the industry.” 

Speaking of the decision to write to all drivers who currently hold an HGV licence, Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This is the perfect time for anyone thinking about re-joining our vital road haulage industry to do so, with a notable and much deserved rise in salaries available for drivers.  

“We’re taking a range of steps to help industry address the driver shortage, and we gladly join sector leaders in encouraging those who already hold an HGV licence to think about returning to a rewarding career as a professional driver.” 

Following the announcement of these measures, it is vital the government looks to the medium and longer-term, Elizabeth de Jong argued: “We now look forward to working with government to address the longer-term causes of the HGV driver shortage, by helping industry to attract new British workers through measures such as the improvement of driver facilities.” 

*www.logistics.org.uk/skills

Published On: 30/09/2021 16:00:14

 

In brief

DON’T PANIC BUY FUEL, LOGISTICS UK URGES MOTORISTS

Following recent shortages of fuel across the UK, Logistics UK has urged motorists not to panic buy. A spokesperson for the business group said: “The driver shortage is a very serious issue that needs urgent government and industry action to resolve, however, we urge people not to panic buy; the logistics industry is resilient and has proven capable of supporting shops, families and businesses during COVID-19, border closures and the first stages of Brexit, and will continue to serve the needs of the nation.”
www.logistics.org.uk/skills

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