HGV driver positions still vacant and more to come
This years’ Freight and Transport Authority’s (FTA) Logistics Report, aimed at providing industry insights into the latest political and economic developments, confirmed the concern the industry has over skills shortages.
The report which was launched in association with Santander Corporate and Commercial, polled the opinions of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses operating in the UK and internationally. Logistics business confirmed that they expect at least 15% of their current HGV driver vacancies won’t be filled due to the nationwide shortage of drivers.
Head of Skills Campaigns at the FTA, Sally Gilson, said:
“The nationwide shortage of skilled logistics staff continues to blight the sector. Respondents to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report anticipate 15 per cent of current vacancies for HGV drivers will not be filled and for a further 36 per cent of current vacancies, they anticipate a long delay to find the right candidate. And it is not just HGV drivers: significant shortfalls of van drivers, warehouse staff, fitters, technicians and mechanics are also anticipated over the next 12 months.”
Ms Gilson commented further:
“The logistics sector is the lifeblood of the nation’s economy, employing more than 2.7 million people and contributing £124 billion gross value added (GVA). From HGV drivers to warehouse staff, the UK economy simply cannot operate without the logistics workforce – businesses would come grinding to a halt and Britain would cease trading.
An aging workforce, competition for skilled staff, and shifting migration patterns – in part in response to Brexit – mean we are facing serious challenges in the recruitment and retention of labour for key logistics roles. After all, the average age of a HGV driver is 48 years, as found in the survey, and 13 per cent of HGV drivers working in the UK are EU nationals; their continued residency is not guaranteed post-Brexit.
To tackle the skills shortage, FTA is campaigning for unused Apprenticeship Levy funds to be utilised for more flexible training programmes and for amends to the Future Immigration White Paper, so non-UK logistics workers are welcomed in the UK, both before and after Brexit.”
Investment in the logistics sector is urgently needed to increase the UK’s attractiveness to encourage international investors.
The Head of Transport and Logistics, Santander Corporate and Commercial, John Simkins, stated:
“Uncertainty has been the inevitable reality for UK businesses over the last year, especially for those operating in transport and logistics. In order that UK businesses can continue their operations with as little disruption as possible, it is vital that we work closely with the transport & logistics industry to ensure we support them in recruiting the skilled logistics staff they desperately need. The importance of the sector must not be undervalued, which is why we remain committed to continuing our work with the FTA and businesses in the sector in 2019 and beyond.”
Meanwhile, we continue to recruit high quality, experienced HGV drivers. But we always want more, so give us a call if you’re looking for work.
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