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24 Jan 2013

More doom and gloom for the transport and logistics industry – it looks as though it could be heading for trouble in the next few years in the form of a massive driver shortage, as the current workforce nears retirement age or considers a career change.

The alarming figures come from a survey carried out by Milestone Operations, a recruitment business that specialises in finding work for professional drivers. The survey was actually supposed to monitor progress of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training which all drivers must complete before September 2014 under an EU directive.

The results threw up the surprise when it found eight percent of drivers surveyed have no intention of taking the CPC training. If they have no intention of completing the training then it stands to reason they have no intention of being drivers come September 2014.

Of those who said they won’t be taking the training, 42 percent said it was because of cost and 42 percent said they intend to make a career change.

What’s more, almost a tenth of commissioned drivers are currently over 61 years old and another 10 percent are between 56 and 60 years old. Some brainboxes have been crunching the numbers and suggest by the year 2023, over a quarter of drivers will no longer be working in the sector.

This disaster waiting to happen is compounded by a lack of young drivers coming into the sector.

So, we think there are two things which need to happen:

  1. Support needs to be given to current drivers who feel they can’t continue because of the CPC training being forced upon them. As it is a requirement under EU legislation, it is only fair the Government lends financial support – after all, it will be to the economy’s detriment should we find ourselves with a driver shortage.
  2. Initiatives need to be set up to encourage young people to consider professional driving as a career. Here we feel it is up to the industry as much as to the Government to make positive changes. Whether that means recruitment drives, improved remuneration packages or simply more support, something needs to happen.

It’s predicted HGV recruitment needs to almost double if it’s to counter the predicted shortages and so it’s vital to tackle the problem now, before it’s too late.

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