It has been reported that there is currently a shortage of trained HGV drivers in the UK, leading to uncertainty for many British retailers and shoppers as shelves struggle to stay stocked.

According to the Road Haulage Association, there is now a shortage of around 100,000 drivers in the UK. The issue has been exacerbated by Covid-19, before which there was a shortage of around 60,000 drivers. While this presents a significant issue for the country, is there a solution to the problem?

 

Why is the driver shortage happening?

A number of factors, including changes to government regulations and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as workforce demographics are causing the driver shortage.

As a result of the pandemic, many drivers haven’t been able to complete their HGV driving tests, as these had been postponed during lockdown. This has caused a backlog in tests, meaning drivers are having to wait much longer to get on the road.

The pandemic, as well as Brexit, has resulted in a large number of drivers having to navigate even more barriers to returning to work within the UK. Even with lockdown restrictions eased, there are still significant restrictions that are discouraging many drivers from the profession.

Another factor that has contributed over time to the driver shortage is the changing demographics of the workforce, with more over 45s within the profession than under 45s. In around 2000, this was an equal split between the age groups, however over the years this has changed.

 

How can the shortage be solved?

At the moment, drivers are not considered “skilled workers” when it comes to allowing drivers from other countries to help solve the shortage. As a result, many businesses are campaigning for drivers to be added to the “Shortage Occupations” list, which would enable them to qualify for a skilled worker visa.

This skilled worker visa, according to the UK government, would allow drivers to “come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer”. This would make it much easier for drivers from outside the UK to enter the country for HGV jobs.

It’s important to consider just how vital HGV drivers are to the running of the UK. HGV drivers are skilled professionals that require extensive training to do their job, and in the UK, we owe almost all of our purchases to the HGV drivers that help our products get from A to B. Not just anybody can be a HGV driver!

 

H&G Recruitment

At H&G Recruitment, we’re passionate about our people. We can provide drivers, including those that are newly qualified, with regular work, great rates of pay and outstanding support from our team. Our HGV recruitment team can also assist with training, helping drivers get the qualifications they need in order to get on the road.

If you’re an HGV driver, or want to learn more about becoming one, we’d like to hear from you.

To find out how you can play your part in keeping the UK moving by joining one of the country’s most essential industries, call our team on 0845 561 6000 or email enquiries@h-g-recruitment.com.

You can also browse a full list of our HGV driving vacancies, including HGV Class 1 jobs and HGV Class 2 jobs.

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