Wednesday, 29 July 2015

RHA: rising employment masks ongoing driver shortage . . .


RHA: rising employment masks ongoing driver shortage

Cited at:

Richard Burnett, the chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, has warned that recent positive news of rising employment levels is in stark contrast to what he called the “chronic skills shortage” continuing to affect hauliers.

The warning came the day after Mr Burnett led a road haulage industry delegation to Number 10 (pictured) to petition David Cameron for £150 million of government help to train up new drivers.

“We warmly welcome the positive news on the employment figures. They are another sign that the UK economy is continuing to strengthen,” he said.

“However, we are suffering from a severe skills shortage in our industry. Failing to address the chronic driver shortage threatens to stop the UK economy recovery in its tracks and it will be a missed opportunity for the government in its drive to achieve full employment.

“Getting a truck licence costs somewhere between £3,000 and £5,000 – that’s a huge amount of money for people trying to enter the industry – and most haulage businesses are small family companies who run on very small margins so they too struggle to fund the training.

“Currently, there is no suitable apprenticeship scheme for truck driver training. That’s why I was at Downing Street yesterday calling on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to invest £150 million into driver training as an urgent priority to help keep the recovery on track.”

RHA also highlighted the latest driver shortage figures by region, from the Office for National Statistics (right).

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