Grant Shapps has written to the UK transport industry outlining some measures that can help solve the shortage of HGV drivers.
The Minister of Transportation announced on Twitter that the government is taking measures to address the current shortage of heavy vehicle drivers. Ministers are committed to working with industry leaders to attract new drivers, simplify training and encourage people to stay in the industry. The government also outlined some measures to help solve the current shortage, including simplifying testing and improving working conditions.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Mr Shapps wrote: “Today, @theresecoffey @DWP, George Eustice @DefraGovUK and I have written an open letter to the road haulage industry setting out a package of measures to help it tackle the HGV driver shortage. “This Gov is listening & doing what we can to support during this challenging time.”
The note thanks haulage workers for offering a “vital service” during the pandemic and said the Government is prioritising employment and retention within the industry.
The joint letter read: “The driver shortage is well documented, and its impacts on the wider economy are becoming more evident. We know the challenges are serious, and whilst it is for the industry to lead, we are here to help.
“We have been urgently working across Government and with you on a package of measures to support recruitment and retention within the industry.”
Ministers stated that they would prepare for new consultations to allow drivers to conduct a test to drive. This move will simplify the process for new drivers to obtain a truck license and increase the availability of truck test appointments.
The government stated that the consultations would ensure that road safety is paramount and will ensure that all drivers are supervised until they are fully qualified.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey said: “As part of our Plan for Jobs, we are helping people gain the skills and experience needed to take up opportunities in the haulage sector, including access to key training, and our Jobcentres are playing a vital role in matching job seekers with the right roles in the sector.”