Government Given Twelve Point Plan To Help Haulage Industry
A major haulage industry body has given the government a 12-step action plan to help boost the number of drivers of haulage equipment and ensure freight costs and supply chains are unaffected.
The plan, published by the Road Haulage Association, primarily focus on short and medium-term ways to increase the number of HGV drivers on Britain’s roads.
- Including HGV drivers on the UK Government’s Shortage Occupation Listfor skilled workers, allowing people to enter the country to become drivers.
- Introducing a seasonal or periodical visa scheme for lorry drivers to help with short-term major shortages.
- Prioritise lorry driver driving tests.
- Set up a “Return to HGV Driving” scheme to enable retired or otherwise inactive drivers who left the sector to return and encourage this return.
- Promote the sector in general and the sector in particular, and emphasise its importance to government bodies and local authorities.
- Fill the funding gap for C+E (articulated lorry) apprenticeships.
- Establish Class C (rigid vehicle) apprenticeships.
- Establish a shorter, tighter driver training scheme focused on small and medium-sized enterprises.
- Establish an independent HGV training loan scheme so drivers can directly receive money for training, lessons and examination costs.
- Promote other training schemes and opportunities such as Road to Logistics.
- Increase the productivity of the road network, and prioritise vehicle flow and HGV access, resisting regulations that could affect road freight.
- Improve the treatment of drivers at collection and delivery points, and ensure they have the amenities and facilities they need.
Whilst some aspects of this plan have begun to be put in action, such as increases in apprenticeship funding, the RHA claims more is required in order to avoid a potential driver shortage.