17th March 2015
Difficulties recruiting HGV drivers in the UK
Difficulties recruiting HGV drivers in the UK and concerns about driver shortages increased throughout last year and have continued into 2015, with 60% of shippers and freight transport operators expecting shortages this quarter, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
The risk of HGV driver shortages was among their top concerns, with nearly a third of respondents reporting long delays in recruitment. Although the UK transport and distribution labour market overall remains well supplied with labour, with few respondents reporting that they are unable to recruit warehouse staff, HGV driver vacancies proved to be the most difficult posts to fill. In Q4 2014, only 80% of respondents reported problems in filling HGV vacancies, which compares with around 20% of respondents in Q2 2009 as the recession took hold.
And the findings suggest that the problem is likely to worsen further. Respondents indicated in the January 2015 survey that 9% of their HGV drivers are aged over 60 and a further 24% are aged between 55 and 60. Overall, 72% of HGV drivers were 45 years of age or older.
This indicates that the issue of driver recruitment is a long-term challenge with an ageing driver population enhancing the risk of driver shortages, the FTA said.
The FTA represents the transport interests of UK companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – half the UK fleet – consign over 90% of the freight moved by rail, and 70% of sea and air freight.