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UK Logistics Operator Offers £5,000 Incentive To Attract Drivers

UK haulier Gist has announced that it has launched a new recruitment policy, as it seeks to satisfy the haulage requirements of its customers.

As the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Logistics UK both say that the 100,000 shortfall of drivers in the UK is down to a combination of the ‘pingdemic’, where people need to self isolate, and the unavailability of EU drivers due to Brexit, Gist is offering a £5,000 incentive, while John Lewis is to pay HGV drivers £5,000 more per year, according to Talking Retail.

New drivers for Gist will receive a £2,000 sign-on bonus, and then three annual ‘retention payments’ of £1,000 for continued service.

Gist’s managing director, Julian Bailey said: “We’re hoping to entice experienced drivers back into the industry.

“These may be those that have recently retired or moved to alternative careers and, in the longer term, we’re hoping to encourage younger people to consider driving as an attractive career choice.”

Competitor haulage firms have responded by describing the news as ‘nice if you can afford it’.

Enticing former drivers back into the sector has been seen as an essential short-term solution, but some drivers have said that extra money from haulage firms will not solve the crisis in the long term.

One driver said that the pay was comparable to warehouse work, but the working hours mean long periods away from families with ‘no real added benefit’ especially as the job and treatment of other drivers have left them feeling unappreciated.

Another driver said only by addressing structural failings and hostile attitudes towards drivers would their numbers climb sufficiently.

Gist said the financial incentives were intended as a supplement to the driver training programme launched in 2019, which is set to reopen next month, aiming to boost homegrown driver numbers. 

It also assists those re-training as drivers and is offered to trainee apprentices and Gist employees changing career paths.

 

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