RHA has announced the UK HGV driver shortage has now hit catastrophic proportions and the organisation has published its 12-point plan to tackle this.
RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett, said: “The upturn in the economy since Covid-19 is increasing demand across supply chains and the reopening of non-essential retail outlets and parts of the hospitality sector is making the situation even worse.
“The pandemic also resulted in the loss of about 12 months of driver training and testing. The long-term ineffectiveness of apprenticeships for lorry drivers and the general hostility from authorities and Government is also unhelpful for recruiting and retaining drivers.”
The above reportedly means that freight rates are rising to a level that operators are finding unsustainable, and costs will have to be passed on to consumers.
Richard added: “We need Government to act and address the driver shortage for the industry and the drivers. While we welcome the increase in HGV apprenticeship funding to £7,000, this barely scratches the surface of the problem.”
The RHA’s 12-point plan covers the following:
- Include HGV drivers on Government’s Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List
- Coronavirus recovery – a seasonal visa scheme for qualified HGV drivers
- Continued priority driving tests for HGV drivers
- Establish a ‘Return to HGV Driving’ scheme
- Better promotion of the job and the sector as a whole
- Apprenticeship funding gap for C+E drivers in England and Wales
- Apprenticeships for Class C drivers
- An SME-focused HGV driver training scheme
- An independent HGV independent training loan scheme
- Other training schemes – DWP pilots/Road to Logistics
- Increase productivity of the road network
- Improve site productivity and the treatment of drivers at collection and delivery points