Logistics UK: green shoots of recovery in HGV driver numbers

Industry body Logistics UK has announced it sees ‘green shoots of recovery’ in the HGV driver shortage. While the numbers of new drivers has remained flat, there has been a strong growth in those taking HGV driver tests, and there has been an average 10% pay rise across the industry.

Logistics UK reports a 25.6% growth in HGV driver tests in 2021 compared to that in 2019 and a 300% growth in applications for vocational provisional licenses. This could lead to a surge in driver numbers in the first quarter of 2022.

It won’t however make Christmas road freight easier for those in the supply chain – a major headache for retailers as they struggle to make goods available to their customers.

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK, said “It is still a challenging time, there is still an acute shortage of drivers certainly but there a number of signs of improvement that could be coming

We’re seeing hope that more people are beginning to enter the industry, but we’ve got to keep attracting them by really improving the facilities.”

Driver pay isn’t the sole issue that needs resolving to attract more people into HGV driving, according to de Jong. Working conditions like the lack of roadside facilities for drivers during their mandatory breaks needs addressing, as this repels a lot of people from taking on the role.

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