The number of HGV driver shortage is growing at an alarming rate, as another 40,000 drivers have been predicted to leave the industry by 2017. This growing issue has left 91% of companies to encounter difficulties when finding new drivers, according to the Transport Committee. With figures like these, we can’t help but wonder what is the future of HGV?
Firstly, why is there a shortage?
- Cost of Licence
It is especially young drivers that are put off by the idea of working as an HGV driver, due to the initial costs of acquiring the licence. However, there are schemes that have been put in place to entice younger drivers such as the Trailblazer Apprenticeship. Another factor that many do not take into account is an HGV driver’s salary can reach £29,000! In the long-term, a driver’s salary would pay off the initial costs of obtaining the licence.
- Negative stigma
Working conditions is a big concern for many when thinking about taking up a career in the haulage profession. Yet there are positive reasons such as career progression, well-paid salary and job security – reasons that seem to be ignored.
- Average HGV Driver
The profile of an average HGV driver is over 45, therefore many drivers are looking to retire and with only 1% of drivers being under 25, there are a lot of drivers going out and very few coming in.
How is the issue being resolved?
Louise Ellman who is chair of the Transport Committee has suggested she wants to “encourage skilled drivers… by improving the image of the profession” by removing the negativity that is so often glued to the occupation.
Freight Transport Association (FTA) also want to erase negativity from the industry as they campaign for “members to come together to promote the logistics industry and engage with the public”. FTA are prominent figures in promoting HGV careers and have created many schemes to help young drivers hop on the haulage career ladder as well as increasing their skills through road safety courses.
The Transport Committee also want to address the under-represented groups, as 92% of 400,000 licence holders are men and more than 60% of LGV drivers are aged 45 and over. Louise from the committee says the “familiar profile” of drivers “will need to adapt” to make way for “the drivers of the future” who are “female drivers, young drivers and BAME drivers”.
The Future of HGV
So what does the future hold for the HGV industry and what needs to happen for the industry to progress?
Necessary changes need to be addressed and resolved in order for the industry’s future to shine again. Changes such as:
• More involvement of under-represented groups to expand the HGV driver community.
• Developing more schemes like the Trailblazer Apprenticeship set up by FTA and raising awareness of the shortage problem through campaigning are effective ways to getting more drivers on board.
• The industry and the government will hopefully combine forces to “to get their heads together and come up with a plan which focuses on recruitment and retention”, as Louise states in her report.
With these notions in place, the HGV driver shortage will slowly be resolved. If you are thinking about a career as an HGV driver, fill in our contact form today to get a quote, and you could earn up to £29,000 a year!