UK Haulage Sector Facing A Perfect Storm
Driver shortages in the UK haulage sector have hit ‘catastrophic proportions’, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), which reports a loss of 15,000 drivers since Brexit.
iNews reports that gaps have started appearing on supermarket shelves due to a shortfall of up to 65,000 HGV drivers, which will inevitably lead to an increase in food prices.
The FHA has wanted that there will be food shortages by Autumn, and the difficulty in recruiting EU drivers following Brexit has led the association to urge the government to add HGV drivers to the Skilled Worker Shortage Occupation List.
In Scotland, the last few years have seen a shortfall of around 11,000 drivers, and the Scotland director of the RHA, Martin Reid, said that this figure had been exacerbated during the pandemic as training had ground to a halt, as well as other challenges.
“For a long time, we have been running short of the numbers required for haulage drivers, so throwing Covid-19, Brexit and recent tax procedures into the mix has created a perfect storm,” said Mr Reid.
“In England, there are a lot of trucks parked up as they don’t have the drivers and deliveries are being compromised. This pinch is now being felt across the UK.”
In an open letter to the UK Transport Secretary, the RHA warned that a growing driver shortage will hit the supply chain and affect the Government’s plans to ‘build back better’ as hospitality opens up again.
The Home Office has said that employers should be focusing on increasing a domestic workforce, rather than ‘relying on labour from abroad’.
A spokesperson said: “The government is working with the haulage sector to promote jobs, training and a range of other initiatives to get more people into HGV driving.”
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