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UK faces truck driver shortage

[ May 17, 2012   //   ]

The UK is facing a looming driver shortage for large goods vehicles (LGVs) that could hold back economic recovery, according to a report released by Skills for Logistics. ‘A Looming ? The evidence behind the concerns’, found that there are substantially more vacancies than candidates seeking vacancies in the industry, which has led to wages growing faster for drivers than other employees across the country. Fewer people are taking LGV tests and over the last four years there has been a 31% decline in the number of individuals passing their LGV test.

Furthermore, not all licence holders are becoming professional drivers as new entrants must also obtain a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) to drive professionally. Just over 12,000 individuals obtained DQCs issued for both LGV and PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) – the DSA does not distinguish between the two – in 2010/11, which means just 44 per cent of those passing tests can drive professionally.

The driver shortage is made more acute by the fact that 16% of LGV drivers are aged 60 or above, while just 1% of employed drivers are under 25, partly due to the cost of insurance. Those retiring over the next five years will leave a potential replacement demand of 48,000 drivers.

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