Haulage Industry Faces Recruitment Crisis

driver recuitment pic


Haulage Industry Faces Recruitment Crisis


As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, the amazing work of HGV drivers and delivery drivers have never been so evident.

The supply chains they perpetuate are the lifeblood of the country in these unprecedented times.

But the haulage industry is facing a crisis of its own in the form of recruitment.

The shortage of HGV drivers in the UK has climbed to 59,000.

64% of transport and storage businesses now face severe skills shortages. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) anticipate that 15% of their current HGV driver vacancies will not be filled due to the nationwide skills shortage.


Several factors contribute:


Age & Health


The average age of an HGV driver is 53

84% are classed as obese

Drivers work on average 48 hours each – much higher than the national average.

Working conditions also lead to physical and mental health problems.




As a result, of the health issues, a career as a lorry driver has become less desirable to the younger generation. Currently, only 19% of lorry drivers are under the age of 35.

HGVtraining.co.uk surveyed more than 2,000 people across the UK and found that:

  • 21% of 18 to 24-year-olds would consider a career in lorry driving
  • 38% of 25 to 34-year-olds who would consider trucking
  • 35% of 35 to 44-year-olds who would consider trucking

The most commonly cited reasons were a perceived lack of career progression, boredom and – what many in the industry believe to be the biggest turnoff – the high costs of training. A professional CPC driving qualification costs around £3,000.




As European economic migrants continue to leave the UK before it’s departure from the European Union, this talent pool is rapidly dwindling.

New laws on skilled worker immigration might also put up a new barrier.




A typical starting salary is anywhere between £19-24k for an HGV driver. With more training and experience you can earn significantly more. The most experienced drivers can earn over 40k a year.

Millenials are probably asking – Is the pay worth the investment in a licence, the sacrifice to family life and health?


What’s the Solution?


Sally Gilson, head of skills campaigns at FTA, said:

“To tackle the labour shortage, FTA is calling for the Apprenticeship Levy to become a Skills Levy, so previously unused funds can be utilised for more flexible training programmes; the current scheme is not fit for purpose,” Gilson said. “FTA is also calling on the government to improve driver facilities to make HGV driving a more attractive career for individuals of all ages.”




Perhaps the current global crisis will bring to fore the necessity of HGV drivers to the economy and the renewed emphasis will boost recruitment figures.


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