Christmas driver shortage
According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), an estimated amount of 45,000 to 50,000 drivers are needed to combat the current driver shortage on our approach to Christmas. In an attempt to highlight the issue, the first ever ‘National Love a Lorry Week’, will take place this week (26th-31stOctober) nationwide to raise awareness of the problem.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said, ‘We are short of between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers and the situation is getting worse. Thousands of older drivers are leaving the industry and younger people can’t afford the £3,000 it costs to get a truck licence. The government could help but won’t. They should support a truck driving apprenticeship but are refusing to do so; even though they are forcing the larger trucking firms to pay the new apprenticeship levy.’
Over 85 per cent of everything purchased in the UK is carried by a truck at some stage in its journey to the customer, with this in mind it is very easy to see how a shortage in drivers could result in shelves being empty this Christmas.
“Our industry is the life blood of our economy. The government can and must do more to help with this driver shortage crisis. Its failure to do so is now posing a real threat to the UKs economic recovery,” added Burnett.