The Endangered British Truck Drivers – ABC Money

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Now more than ever, UK businesses rely on an efficient supply chain. The pandemic may have reduced consumer spending, but some goods are still a necessity.

And what is the backbone of an efficient supply chain? HGV drivers play a central role in the economy and the functioning of society.

However, the number of UK heavy truck drivers is on the decline.

The crux of the matter

An aging workforce, low unemployment rate and problems attracting qualified young people into the heavy truck transport sector are just some of the factors attributed to the decline in the number of heavy truck drivers.

The conclusions published by the Freight Transport Association (ALE), now known as Logistics UK, last year estimates the number of heavy truck drivers was down 5% year-on-year compared to 2017.

This translates into 59,000 shortages, as 64% of storage and transport companies face severe skills shortages. But it’s not just Britain facing a drop in numbers. The report indicates a shortage of 21% of truck drivers across Europe.

The pressure is on

With seasonal demand expected to increase over the next two months, fleet managers appear poised to have their work cut out for them. create a reliable commercial fleet. Time constraints, seasonal pressure, delays and a shortage of qualified truck drivers are adding to the pressure.

“A breakdown should be the least of their worries,” says a representative of Fleetcover – the fleet insurance specialists. “We get tight margins and high turnover, in short, all the dynamics involved in running a logistics company. “

Where to go from here?

Perhaps more telling is the age demographics within the heavy-duty industry, where approximately 60% of drivers are aged 44 and over, of which only 19% are under 35. fill the void by those leaving the industry.

Paragon Software Systems CEO William Salter asked logistics professionals how to best fill the skills gaps in the heavy duty industry. And that’s what they found.

● Address the sector’s poor public image. The industry needs to portray itself as innovative and tech-driven to make it more attractive to the younger generation.

● Make logistics financially rewarding. Salaries in the logistics industry are simply not good enough to attract younger candidates.

● Create an attractive career path. An industry framework needs to be created which recognizes industry standards and qualifications.

● Improve working conditions. Long working hours, inflexibility, loneliness and low wages have all been key factors in the decline of “new blood” in the heavy-duty industry. These issues, along with the lack of quality driving facilities, need to be addressed to make the role more appealing to a younger audience. More alarmingYes is the stress and risk factors associated with work.

● Engagement with the education sector. Collaborate with educational institutions to increase the visibility of the range of jobs offered.

Hope on the horizon

So what is the solution? According to industry insiders, an increase in wages and an overhaul of the heavy truck industry’s image would go a long way in solving the problem.

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