By Alex Glenn •
Published: 18 Oct 2021 • 12:45
UK tackles HGV driver shortage ahead of Christmas.
According to Grant Shapps, the ongoing HGV driver shortage is a top priority for his department. The government is committed to taking urgent action to tackle the crisis.
The number of HGV provisional licence applications has increased by a staggering 300 per cent according to Shapps. His department has put in place 25 proactive actions to tackle the driver shortage in the last few weeks.
Shapps explained: “The haulage sector has been experiencing a chronic shortage of HGV drivers worldwide for some time. In Great Britain, the issue has been further exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which meant that driver testing had to be suspended for much of 2020, delaying entry to the industry of potential drivers.
“In addition, there are longer-term issues surrounding attracting and retaining drivers to the industry such as anti-social hours, poor diversity, relatively low pay and poor driver facilities.”
The government are working with the haulage industry in an attempt to recruit new drivers. Shapps said: “Streamlining the HGV driving licence regime is an important step in getting drivers tested and into jobs quickly, relieving the pressure on the haulage industry from the driver shortage.
“On 10 September 2021, following public consultation, I announced a number of measures to simplify the HGV licencing regime and bring forward legislation that would remove the current staged process for getting an HGV licence in Great Britain.
“It will mean that drivers will not need to hold a Category C (rigid lorry) licence before applying for a Category C + E (articulated lorry) licence, removing a stage in the process for those drivers who wish to acquire a category C + E licence. This measure will be addressed through a draft affirmative statutory instrument which is laid before Parliament today (18 October 2021).”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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