Supply chain and logistics apprenticeships play an integral role in driving forward the UK haulage industry, and it seems that MPs have now acknowledged the very real challenge involved in tackling the shortfall in skilled drivers.
The House of Commons Transport Committee described existing measures to address driver shortages as inefficient, and urged cooperation on the issue between government and the transport industry.
A driving career “less attractive than it was”
The committee argued that a shortage of people willing to work in the industry could be blamed for the insufficient number of drivers, rather than a shortfall in the number of qualified people. However, it also said that there was no single reason for the lack of drivers, with numerous factors instead claimed to have made the job “less attractive than it was”.
Also bemoaned by the committee was how the driver shortfall had led to “a dependence on agency and particularly foreign drivers that goes beyond what is needed to cope with seasonal variations and is now necessary to sustain normal operation.” It said that with operators so heavily dependent on agency staff, they were “probably” failing to invest sufficiently in their own personnel.
Declaring the challenge as “not a new” one, committee chair Louise Ellman MP added:
“The road haulage sector has been short of skilled drivers for the last 10 years. The familiar profile of the professional driver – over 45, white and male – will need to adapt.”
She called for industry and government to “get their heads together and come up with a plan which focuses on recruitment and retention”, suggesting that the haulage industry needed to look to female, young, black and minority ethnic (BAME) talent, among various other measures.
Become a driver with the help of Bis Henderson Academy
We couldn’t be prouder to be playing our own part in helping to source and train drivers for the haulage industry, including by offering apprenticeship frameworks in Driving Goods Vehicles to all ages of learner, at both NVQ Level 2 and Level 3. We operate schemes with employers to put people through these qualifications.
In addition to schemes for people already in employment, we can assist anyone keen to develop a driving career to become licence qualified by giving them access to a range of financing options.
Contact Bis Henderson Academy today about how you can get your own haulage driving career off to the strongest possible start, or recruit suitably qualified and motivated new supply chain and logistics talent as an employer.