Logistics UK meets with government over driver shortage

A UK government minister has met with industry body Logistics UK and driver training company AIM Commercial Services Ltd to discuss the pressing HGV driver shortage.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Mims Davies met with Logistics UK and AIM at AIM’s head office to discuss how best to attract new recruits to driving and to help businesses in need drive the economic recovery from Brexit and the pandemic.

Speaking after the event, Mims Davies MP said: “The haulage sector faces a challenging time, which is why it’s vital we work together to address the barriers to recruitment, and to ensure there is a diverse pipeline of talent ready to take up these roles.  

“I welcome the further talks with hauliers today, on top of the local engagement our JCPs are doing to assist people into this growing sector. I know via our network of Jobcentres we can greatly encourage more people to consider a career in the sector, and are already supporting them to develop the skills and experience needed to take these opportunities, including access to key training as part of our Plan for Jobs.”  

Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager at Logistics UK, commented: “Logistics UK and its members are keen to identify the next generation of the workforce and are grateful to Minister Davies for her time and enthusiasm to find ways to help the sector overcome the recruitment challenges it currently faces. The sector has been finding it hard to attract new recruits for many years, a problem which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that there are potential employees out there.

“Encouraging new entrants into the profession is vital to solve this issue; we were so pleased Mims Davies MP met with Logistics UK and its member A.I.M Commercial Services Ltd, along with seven other logistics businesses, to discuss how government and industry can work together to overcome the barriers to recruitment and help raise awareness of HGV driving as an accessible and attractive career for all.”  

When the pandemic hit there was a national shortage of 76,000 HGV drivers with a large number set to reach retirement age soon thanks to the high median age of UK-citizen HGV drivers. In addition many of those drivers who were from the EU went back home after Brexit, so the industry estimates that the driver shortage is far higher than in March 2020.

Allison Kemp, Managing Director of A.I.M Commercial Services Ltd and Chair of Logistics UK’s Road Council, commented: “It was great to have the opportunity to meet the Minister today. I sincerely hope this meeting is another piece in the jigsaw to help find solutions for and finally resolve this long-standing shortage issue for our sector.”