The government has held meetings with the logistics sector to discuss how best to attract new recruits to the sector amidst a severe driver shortage.
Mims Davies, parliamentary under-secretary of state for employmentat the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP),met withbusiness group Logistics UK and A.I.M Commercial Services – a national training provider for the logistics sector – at thehaulagecompany’s site in Ripley, Derbyshire this week. They discussed how besttoattract new people and help businesses across logistics to drive the economic recovery.
At the start of the pandemic, there wasa shortfall of at least 76,000 HGV drivers, andwith the additional loss of EU workers who have returned home,the industry estimates that this number is now higher still.
Davies said:“The haulage sector faces a challenging time, which is why it’s vital we work together to address the barriers to recruitment, and to ensure there is a diverse pipeline of talent ready to take up these roles.
“I welcome the further talks with hauliers today, on top of the local engagement our JCPs are doing to assist people into this growing sector.Iknowviaour network of Jobcentres we can greatly encourage more people to consider a career in thesector, andare already supporting them to develop the skills and experience needed to take these opportunities, including access to key training as part of our Plan for Jobs.”
ChrisYarsley, policy manager at Logistics UK, said the organisation is keen to identify the next generation of the workforce, and has struggled to attract new recruits for many years. The problem has been exacerbated by Covid, he said, but expressed confidence that there are potential employees available.
“Encouragingnew entrants into theprofession is vital to solve this issue; we were so pleased MimsDavies MP met withLogisticsUK and its member A.I.M Commercial Services, along withseven other logistics businesses,to discusshow government and industry can worktogether to overcome the barriers to recruitment andhelpraise awareness ofHGV driving as anaccessible and attractive careerforall.”