There is a skills shortage storm brewing and UNITE national officer Adrian Jones believes that we are heading for a national crisis – too few lorry drivers and an increasing demand and necessity for the work.
“The UK is sleepwalking into a driving crisis and we face the genuine prospect of being unable to move goods around the UK, just at the time when Brexit means it is essential that our transport network is operating efficiently in order to keep the economy afloat.”
Too few drivers on the road could potentially mean a stagnating economy, after all if goods can’t get to shops – they can’t be sold.
A skills shortage exists as young people don’t seem to consider being an HGV driver as a career at all – with only 1% of HGV drivers being under the age of 25.
Perhaps this is linked to the negative stereotypes that are attached to being an HGV driver or the ill-health that many HGV drivers experience as a result of their career.
Reliance on Europe
Many drivers come from European countries which is great – a more cosmopolitan and diverse country is fantastic. But at a time when the uncertainty of the future of people movement caused by Brexit, the industry cannot afford to grind to a halt. Of the 250,000 drivers in the UK it is estimated that up to 60,000 are from the EU.
With an aging population of lorry drivers and increasing health issues, what is the solution?
A keener focus on health, well being and working conditions will only lead to good things for the industry – improving stereotypes and the health of drivers across the board. While we’re talking about health, check out our latest post on how to lead a healthy haulage life here.