Expand the National Skills Fund to help resolve driver shortage, says Logistics UK

Friday 17 September 2021

Logistics UK, one of the UK’s biggest business groups, is urging the Government to expand the terms of its National Skills Fund (NSF) – an initiative to help adults train into new careers – to include level 2 qualifications so British workers can access funding to train as HGV drivers, and other vital roles the logistics industry desperately needs to fill.

Writing in response to the consultation on the Fund – where the Government is seeking views on the scheme’s effectiveness in filling the skills gap – Alexandra Herdman, Public Policy Manager at Logistics UK, comments:

“Logistics UK is urging the Government to open up its National Skills Fund to include level 2 qualifications and to be more flexible in its rules to enable British workers to access funding to train into vital logistics roles. The UK is suffering from a severe shortage of logistics workers and expanding the qualifications available would help to overcome some of the disruption to supply chains we are seeing.

“Currently, the scheme only offers support for adults wanting to gain a level 3 qualification (equivalent to A Levels) but many of the roles the UK needs desperately, including HGV drivers, are level 2. Whilst there is no one single level 2 HGV driver qualification, the Government should fund elements of the driver training through the NSF. Logistics UK is asking Government to make this change to help meet the demand for qualified HGV drivers. Recruiting, testing and training thousands of new logistics workers is vital to protect supply chains and ensure our supermarkets and other shops are filled with the goods the nation needs.

“Logistics UK is also urging the Government to include the Level 3 Certificate of Professional Competence in Road Haulage in the Fund; this qualification is required of all Transport Managers – who play a critical role in logistics operations – and are another role that the industry needs to attract new workers to.”

Logistics UK 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.