15 per cent of HGV driver vacancies cannot be filled


Logistics businesses anticipate that 15 per cent of their current HGV driver vacancies will not be filled due to the skills shortage, according to the FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report.

The research polled the opinions of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses operating in the UK and internationally.

The FTA’s Sally Gilson, commented: “Respondents to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report anticipate 15 per cent of current vacancies for HGV drivers will not be filled and for a further 36 per cent of current vacancies, they anticipate a long delay to find the right candidate. And it is not just HGV drivers: significant shortfalls of van drivers, warehouse staff, fitters, technicians and mechanics are also anticipated over the next 12 months.”

Gilson continued: “An aging workforce, competition for skilled staff, and shifting migration patterns – in part in response to Brexit – mean we are facing serious challenges in the recruitment and retention of labour for key logistics roles. After all, the average age of a HGV driver is 48 years, as found in the survey, and 13 per cent of HGV drivers working in the UK are EU nationals; their continued residency is not guaranteed post-Brexit.”

Gilson continued: “To tackle the skills shortage, FTA is campaigning for unused Apprenticeship Levy funds to be utilised for more flexible training programmes and for amends to the Future Immigration White Paper, so non-UK logistics workers are welcomed in the UK, both before and after Brexit.”

The report also found that uncertainties surrounding Brexit are taking their toll on the logistics industry; 61 per cent of respondents say this uncertainty is a barrier to the growth of their businesses internationally.