HGV

Truck drivers in short supply

The Fuelcard Company warns of impending driver shortage crisis

The transport and logistics sector is facing a driver shortage, warns leading fuel card reseller, The Fuelcard Company, as a combination of retirement and drivers changing careers to avoid paying for the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training means over a quarter of current drivers will no longer be working in the sector by 2023. Without replacement drivers entering the profession, the shortfall will be significant.

By September 2014, EU legislation states that all professional drivers must complete the CPC training at a cost of up to £1,750, which many drivers are expected to fund themselves. A recent survey of 3,000 drivers found that eight percent have no intention of completing the training and of those, 42 percent said it was because of the cost.

Almost a tenth of drivers are currently over 61 years old and will soon be retiring from the profession, and a further 10 percent are between 56 and 60 years old, so likely to be considering retirement in the next decade. Recruitment for the transport sector must double if it is to meet this shortfall. (Of the drivers who completed the survey, just one percent was under the age of 25.)

The Fuelcard Company Marketing Director, Jakes de Kock, said: “It’s clear from these figures that the industry is heading for a huge shortage of drivers which, if not tackled, could cripple the industry and seriously affect the UK’s chances of coming out of recession. The transport sector is the backbone of the economy without which goods simply couldn’t reach the shelves.

“We must support the experienced drivers already in the sector but who are considering a career change because they cannot afford the CPC training. Drivers are the sector’s most valuable assets; clearly it would be in the Government’s best interests to lend financial support where it’s needed.

“More must be done to encourage young people to consider professional driving as a career. We must work together as an industry to make transport an appealing career choice and lobby the Government to assist with the high training costs.”

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