According to lobby group, Logistics UK, a third of the logistics companies based in the UK will face truck driver shortages in 2021. With an expected tenth of companies finding that this shortage in drivers will pose a significant barrier to the recovery of their business from the pandemic.
The lobby group called on the government to provide resources such as interest-free loans or grants for training drivers to fill trucking vacancies. This is one of the labour shortfalls that has emerged due to border friction because of Brexit.
The job search engine Adzuna showed that online advertisements for transport, logistics and warehouse jobs in February 2020 were 15% above the same period last year.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) also reported similar findings to the U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, warning that many drivers had returned to their country of origin during the pandemic lockdown. The vast majority are not expected to return due to the stricter visa rules now in place after Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed a government initiative that would increase apprenticeship funding for drivers of large goods vehicles from July 1.
Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, said the industry still needed more immediate as he expected demand for goods to rise as lockdown restrictions lift in June. He also warned that because of the lack of drivers the cost of distribution for manufacturers and retailers is likely to increase. Burnet added that the U.K. Home Office needed to take steps to make it easier for haulage companies to recruit drivers from overseas.