Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Serious Shortage In HGV Driver Numbers?

Now, as you will probably know if you are reading this, there is a serious area of concern growing in the HGV Industry with regard to the lack of qualified Drivers available. But what are the facts? A lot has been said, rightly or wrongly, on the issue, so I am going to look at the facts with regard to Driver Shortage in the UK. 

First off, many are working under the assumption that there just aren't drivers available out there. Since the end of recession and the phoenix-like rise of the British economy, industry has sped up and  there is a greater demand for HGV drivers on Britain's roads. Depending upon which figures you read there were either 45 thousand (RHA estimate) or 50-60 thousand (FTA estimate) unfulfilled HGV jobs during 2014. Huge numbers. Yet, while the amount of jobs have risen, the cost of actually attaining a licence during the recession, coupled in with the risk of not getting employed at the end of the process and the potential jeopardy it put employment under at the time, meant that people simply weren't getting qualified.

Interestingly, perhaps, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is reporting that in February 2015 there were 1,345 drivers in the UK claiming unemployment benefits. Alongside the drivers outside of employment who are not claiming of the state this must mean that there are the drivers available. However, the figures for drivers claiming unemployment benefits in February 2015 look quite different when compared to statistics 12 months earlier. In February 2014, ONS reported that there 3,100 qualified drivers claiming benefit, creating a decrease of 56%. With the increase in the amount of jobs available it is likely that this trend will continue and therefore put a huge strain on the HGV Industry.