Logistics UK launches Skills and Employment Report 2020

Wednesday 16 December 2020

A new report from Logistics UK, the business group representing the industry which is at the heart of the UK’s economy, has highlighted the severe impact Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the sector’s underlying skills shortage. Logistics UK’s Skills and Employment Report 2020 launches this week as the organisation calls for interest-free loans or grants to support HGV driver training, Apprenticeship Levy reform, and an urgent catch-up of HGV driver tests cancelled due to COVID restrictions, to attract new recruits into the sector and ensure that goods and services can continue to move freely.

Elizabeth de Jong, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, comments: “The combined forces of Brexit and COVID-19 have exposed the structural issues with the logistics labour market, with Logistics UK’s Skills and Employment Report 2020 revealing that 79,000 members of the workforce – EU workers – have left the country in the past 12 months, leaving a significant skills gap. With a total shortage of 76,000 HGV drivers alone, Logistics UK is urging the government to take immediate action to address the long-term structural issues with the labour market to enable UK workers to step in and fill these vacancies to ensure the UK can keep trading.

“Measures advised by Logistics UK include funding to assist with the high costs of driver qualifications through interest-free loans or grants, reforms to the Apprenticeship Levy so businesses can unlock funding, and improvements to driver facilities to make the career more attractive. In addition, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) must overturn its decision to halt all HGV driving tests during the COVID-19 pandemic. The time for talk is over: the government must act now on these issues to secure the future of logistics.”

According to the report, there were 20,500 fewer HGV drivers in Q2 2020, which is a reduction of 6.7% year-on-year; the number of EU HGV drivers fell by 14,275 (36.3%), and there was a drop of 4,000 (1.5%) in UK nationals who are HGV drivers.

To view the full report, please visit www.logistics.org.uk/skills

Logistics UK (formerly FTA) is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.