The biggest logistics group in the UK, Wincanton, has called for an action in regards to training more drivers for Lorries as the shortage has started to pose a major problematic threat to this industry.
Today online shoppers will need to wait a lot longer for their deliveries to arrive due to the lorry driver shortage that is nearing crisis levels. This information is according to the biggest logistics company in Britain.
Wincanton Urges for Action From Government and Industry
Wincanton, which currently has around 5,500 drivers for the LGVs (Large Goods Vehicles) have called for a combined action aimed at the Government and the industry to handle these issues before it has the chance to become a serious issue that will affect the wider-economy as well as affect consumers in a negative way.
FTA (Freight Transport Association) figures have discovered that the UK requires at least another 60,000 LGV drivers over and above the current 326,000 already qualified in Britain. However, only around 20,000 enter this profession every year.
The HR director, Julie Welch of Wincanton, states that along with deliveries taking a lot longer to be delivered, the prices of deliveries could also rise as companies start to fight over qualified drivers in the way of pushing up the wages.
Smaller Companies to be Affected More
She states that this won’t translate into a crisis such as no turkeys available on the supermarket shelves at Christmas time, as the larger companies are capable of putting in more resources on their corporate HGV and logistics budget.
However, it will be the smaller deliveries like the types that go to consumer’s homes that will experience far more delays. Even the larger companies such as Amazon can become affected by this issue. In addition, the larger food retailers that conduct home deliveries may also raise the “minimum” spending level in order to make the deliveries more cost-effective while they search for more efficiency.
Blockages Impacting the Industry
To add fuel to this crisis is the age profiles of the existing drivers. Over 50% of these drivers are already over the age of 50 and are thinking about retirement, according to figures produced by the Road Haulage Association. In addition, this industry is having a hard time attracting the younger entrants, with less than 5% of the drivers being under the age of 25.
Other concerns include red-tape that may be blocking candidates from entering this market that only pays £35,000 a year, while specialised qualifications like driving chemical or fuel tankers pay much more.
Ms Welch also states that the safety and health laws prohibit younger people from spending the day inside a lorry cab in order to gain experience on what this job is all about.
One of the other noteworthy barriers associated with obtaining qualifications to drive LCVs is the high costs involved, this information comes from Richard Burnett the chief executive from the Road Haulage Association.
He states that obtaining a truck licence can cost anywhere in the region of £3,000 to £5,000 which is a significant amount for people that try to get into this industry. In addition, the majority of the haulage companies happen to be smaller family businesses that run on tight margins, which means they struggle to come up with the funding for training.
Wincanton is starting to join up with the industry bodies in order to lobby Government in order to increase the funding for this industry in order to support apprenticeships along with training programmes for the LGV drivers.
What Will This Mean for You?
This is wonderful news if you have had thoughts about entering a new career. It is expected that the job of an HGV driver may not be your first choice in a career. It is often not the ideal job for every person. However, HGV driving as your chosen career offers security and is engaging. It also pays a lot more than you may expect, along with a host of opportunities in regards to furthering and improving your skill set.
To date, there are around 50,000 jobs available in this sector. So this is the perfect opportunity for anyone that is tired of their current job and in search of a brand new career path. The mentioned figure is the number of drivers that the UK currently needs over the next 4 years in order to prevent an economic crisis. This is bad news for delivery companies and retailers but great news if you have had thoughts about becoming a heavy goods vehicle driver.