Tackling the HGV Driver Shortage
Aug 31, 2021
The Government is considering an early review of the shortage of occupation list, as they try to tackle the driver shortage.
Due to the supermarkets and suppliers struggling to meet demand following an exodus of drivers from EU countries, the government is considering bringing forward a review of its Shortage of Occupation list to tackle the issue of the HGV driver shortage.
This along with with the Covid crisis has brought the DVLA testing centres to a standstill, creating a huge backlog of drivers waiting to take their HGV tests.
A review of the Shortage of Occupation list, which sets out jobs where overseas workers can apply for visas, is not due until next year, however it has been suggested that bring this forward would be the obvious solution.
HGV drivers are currently not included on the list but there is pressure from supermarkets to include them to help ease the shortfall whilst more UK drivers are trained.
Government officials are working closely with the DVLA to increase the number of tests taking place by attempting to streamline the process.
They have also increased funding for apprentices so the UK is less reliant on overseas drivers, by enticing more UK workers into the industry.
This has been mirrored by supermarkets and haulier groups
as wages are rising for drivers after stagnated for the last five years. Retailers and suppliers have also been incentivising drivers with signing-on bonuses, including at Amazon, Tesco and Marks & Spencer.