The HGV driver shortage in the UK has now hit catastrophic proportions and the RHA has now published it’s 12-point plan to tackle the situation

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The upturn in the economy since Covid19 is increasing demand across supply chains and the reopening of non-essential retail outlets and parts of the hospitality sector is, making the situation even worse.

“The pandemic also resulted in the loss of about 12 months of driver training and testing. The long-term ineffectiveness of apprenticeships for lorry drivers and the general hostility from authorities and Government is also unhelpful as regards recruiting and retaining drivers. And while we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”

All of the above means that freight rates are rising to a level that operators are finding unsustainable and costs will have to be passed on to consumers. With no incoming talent into the sector means increased prices due to highest demand on the drivers.

“We need Government to act and address the driver shortage for the industry and the drivers. While we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”

The RHA’s 12-point plan to combat the UK’s driver shortage includes:

  1. Include HGV drivers on Government’s Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List
  2. Coronavirus recovery – a Seasonal Visa Scheme for qualified HGV drivers
  3. Continued priority driving tests for HGV drivers
  4. Establish a ‘Return to HGV Driving’ scheme
  5. Better promotion of the job and the sector as a whole
  6. Apprenticeship funding gap for C+E drivers in England and Wales
  7. Apprenticeships for Class C drivers
  8. A SME-focussed HGV driver training scheme HGV independent training loan scheme
  9. An independent HGV independent training loan scheme
  10. Other training schemes – DWP pilots/Road to Logistics
  11. Increase productivity of the road network
  12. Improve site productivity and the treatment of drivers at collection and delivery points

We’re hoping the 12 point plan will help the industry with the demand that is currently being placed – but also making sure you’re running your fleet and operation as efficiently as possible is another important factor. Saving time spent on administrative tasks means you can spend more of your staff’s resource managing expectations with existing or prospecting customers. A transport system can help you speed up your order to cash cycle so you can spend more time to focus on business growth, even under these increasing market pressures. Speak to a member of our team today to find out more.