Fifteen percent of HGV driver vacancies will remain unfilled, survey finds

The shortage of drivers in the UK mean that logistics businesses anticipate that 15% of HGV driver vacancies will not be filled, according to a new report.

The 2019 Logistics Report, launched by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in partnership with Santander Corporate and Commercial, polled the opinions of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses operating in the UK and internationally. 

In addition, for a further 36% 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.

Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Campaigns at FTA, said: “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% of HGV drivers working in the UK are EU nationals; their continued residency is not guaranteed post-Brexit.”

The report also found that UK’s global competitiveness has dropped significantly and investment in the UK’s transport and logistics infrastructure is urgently required to boost its attractiveness to international investors. Furthermore, the survey indicated that the uncertainties surrounding Brexit are taking their toll on the logistics industry; 61% of respondents say this uncertainty is a barrier to the growth of their businesses internationally.

John Simkins, Head of Transport and Logistics, Santander Corporate and Commercial, added: “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 and logistics industry to ensure we support them in recruiting the skilled logistics staff they desperately need.”

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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