The skills shortage in the transport and logistics industry is well documented.
Now a new report has shed light on wider concerns of the impact of Brexit, not just for employers operating in the transport industry, but across various sectors.
In the survey of 1,355 employers, commissioned by three recruitment firms, called “Solving the UK Skills Shortage”, 65% said they believe they will face a shortage of skilled professionals in 2018.
Almost a quarter of businesses believe the wider skills shortage is affecting the UK’s international competitiveness and half said Brexit is making the situation worse.
In December, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said that “the UK haulage industry is currently facing a shortage of between 45k and 50k HGV drivers and we as an industry need to face this challenge head-on”.
Meanwhile, quoted this month in The Loadster, Freight Transport Association Deputy Chief Executive James Hookham said 43,000 EU drivers currently play a vital role working on UK roads.
“It is not just drivers, 25% of all warehouse workers in the UK are EU nationals – the government has said these people will be able to continue working, but we need legal validity,” said Mr Hookham.
“Driver shortages in the UK already number 50,000, so losing 43,000 in one stroke would almost double that number, and bring the economy and supply chain to a crashing halt.”
As this report highlights, the skills shortage continues to bite and is likely to cause problems for many industries as we continue down the path to Brexit. Training staff and recruiting from a UK-based workforce is possible, but will take time.
As disruption takes hold, few industries are likely to cause as many problems as the transport industry to the economy. Without enough drivers it is a practical reality that things will grind to a haul, and there’s no plan B.
At the Microlise Transport Conference on May 16th, there will be a section dedicated to skills, raising the important challenges facing transport and logistics businesses.