A combination of COVID, tax changes, poor working conditions and Brexit means that there is an estimated shortage of 100,000 qualified drivers on the UK.
What is the Government doing?
Before the pandemic there was a shortage of 60,000 drivers, and the Office for National Statistics estimate that there were 16,000 fewer EU nationals employed as HGV drivers as of March 2021.
The Government has taken steps to address the shortage of lorry drivers with temporary visas for 5,000 drivers in the UK. However, applications have been worryingly low and processing times are lengthy.
Another Government initiative has been to contact one million drivers who hold a HGV license to encourage them back to the industry. Plus, Drivers Hours rules have been relaxed which increases the daily limit by two hours twice a week. There is also a £7,000 per person apprenticeship scheme to entice more Large Goods Vehicle Drivers to the industry.
And finally, the Government announced a major review into HGV driver training on 8th November 2021.
What the future looks like With some companies poaching drivers from essential suppliers, increase in prices making relationships between suppliers extremely fractious and costs likely to end up filtering down to consumers, it’s safe to say that the situation isn’t visibly improving.
In fact, with such disruption to the food supply chain, concerns are growing as to whether there will be limited goods on the shelves this Christmas.
Figures released on the 8th November 2021 by IGD say that:
64% of adults claim to have experienced shortages of some food and groceries in-store or online recently.
And that’s not to mention the potential chaos of stockpiling, delayed refuge collections and the risk of danger from having no grittier lorries at work. It’s also a cause for concern that many bus drivers are leaving their jobs for better paid HGV employment. Lorry driver wages have increased by 20% in the last six months.
Looking to recruit or change position?
As a recruiter, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation and updating you on the 2021 driver shortage.
We understand that for some, recruitment at this time of year – especially this year, can be a challenge. Our clients and candidates enjoy the peace of mind which comes with working with an award-winning, local, national and international resource solutions business. Omega has a large network of recruitment experts with an in depth knowledge of many markets.
If you are a business with a position to fill, or a candidate looking for a career change then Omega is happy to support you.