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Solution to UK Lorry Driver Shortage

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The number of skilled HGV lorry drivers in the UK continues to shrink, It has been estimated the number has shrunk by over a quarter since 2019. The result has been witnessed by empty shelves in supermarket stores and fuel shortages.

The UK government  is at last taking steps to right the situation by sponsoring  HGV “training boot camps”. Let’s look at the reason for the current shortage and the steps being taken to training more truck drivers within the UK

Why there’s a shortage of Truck drivers?

The government website has listed  the following as key reasons for the shortage of qualified UK lorry drivers.

  • Ageing workforce
  • The postponements of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) testing also known as Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
  • An over reliance of on overseas truck and lorry drivers. This reliance was exposed with the recent UK exit from BREXIT.

Action to overcome current shortage of UK Lorry drivers 

The main trust has been twofold. First, relax the legislation and remove barriers to permitting oversea drivers to operate in the UK. Secondly, increase the number of domestic UK truck drivers. 

This is the goal behind Truck Training Boot camps. These camps are being financed  by the UK  government to the tune of  £34.5m. The money is being offered as contracts to companies that can provide training to new lorry drivers. This is expected to alleviate the shortage brought about by Brexit exist and the pandemic.

Why Boot camps.

It takes a staggering GBP4,000 to train a professional truck driver. At one time social services would provide training so if you were unemployed you could train as a truck or lorry driver. That is no longer the case. So to become a truck driver, you either need to be trained by your employer or pay upfront for specialised training.

The result is that companies that need skilled drivers are unable to recruit and at the same time can not afford to pay GBP4,000 to train new drivers who may just get up and leave after the initial contract period, The government initiatives of free training and relaxing legislation will in time reverse the situation.

Responding to the initiative, Eamonn Turley, founder of multiquotetime.com a leader in online Lorry insurance, Truck and HGV insurance platforms, comments “that they have starting to see a surge  in demand for truck insurance, stemming directly from the free training program currently being offered to get new truck drivers on the roads and keep the shelves stocked. 

Whilst lorry insurance is expensive, it is worth noting that the shortage in demand has also resulting in higher wages for lorry drivers. Wages had stagnated for years, and this was also playing a role on the low number of qualified truck drivers with an operator’s licence. 

Training is also available is also available for expanding your lorry  licence from C to C+E or even an ADR licence, the latter permits you to haul dangerous goods