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Trucking Industry UK

HGV test backlog needs resolving, says Logistics UK

The Government is playing 'Russian roulette' with road users' safety, a union claims.

With UK unemployment rates rising and the HGV driver shortage an ongoing issue, the logical answer would be to get more people working as lorry drivers.

But while that might be the obvious solution, there are a few hurdles to achieving it. 

According to Logistics UK, the main issue is the thousands of HGV driving tests that haven’t taken place over the last 12 months as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

In response to data published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which revealed unemployment in the UK is at its highest level since 2016 (5.1%), the business group is urging the government to take action.

Speaking about the situation and the ONS stats, Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at Logistics UK said: “The logistics industry is in desperate need of workers to fill a variety of operational roles, including HGV drivers, but government policy is preventing workers from accessing these careers.”

She continued: “Logistics UK is urging the DVSA to put in place a programme to catch up on the tens of thousands of lost driving tests during the lockdown.”

De Jong was also keen to highlight that HGV driver training costs an average of £7,000 per person. For this reason, Logistics UK is also calling for the government to offer interest-free loans and/or grants to help plug the skills shortage and make sure potential employees can access the skills and training they need to get behind the wheel of an HGV or LGV.

The HGV driver skills shortage is an issue that has been plaguing the industry for some time. With an ageing workforce, many people overlook a career in the industry. Logistics UK wants to make sure that job opportunities available in the logistics sector are not out of reach for anyone looking for work.

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