The transport & logistics sector supports every part of the UK economy – the pivotal role it plays in our day-to-day lives has been highlighted, perhaps as never before, during the current Covid-19 Pandemic. However, the sector has struggled to fill driver vacancies for several years – an issue that has been further exacerbated as EU drivers have returned home because of Brexit.
The cause of the current driver shortfall can be attributed to a number of factors not least of which is the prohibitive cost of training and securing an operating licence – the RHA’s latest estimate puts this training figure at approximately £7,000 per person.
The Road to Logistics programme assesses a candidate’s suitability, works with them through training and exams and then links them to partners, such as Whistl, for interview and hopeful employment. Ongoing Road to Logistics support then continues for both driver and partner during the first year of employment.
Road to Logistics works with partners to draw down funding during a driver’s training period to specifically encourage new and diverse talent into the industry. The programme is particularly focused on individuals who need extra support to access employment; typical candidates range from those who are returning to work after a period of unemployment to family care-givers who need to make a fresh start. People with mental health challenges, ex-service men and women and former offenders are also encouraged to apply to join the programme.
The Transport & Logistics sector has come through one of the most challenging and demanding of years – topped off by the seismic shift caused by Brexit. Professional, down-to-earth and tremendously hardworking HGV drivers continue to keep our country on the move every day. It’s important that we do all we can to attract and support like-minded people who want to join the business – to help shape the future of the industry and to support our economy moving forward.