The HGV Professional Driver Shortage hits 100K in the UK
A leading driver training expert has called for action to increase the testing capacity
of HGV drivers to combat the critical shortage which is threatening the country’s
Steve Dulson, of Dulson Training, says more must be done to reverse the
continuous drain of HGV driver numbers on our roads or risk the inevitable situation
of a crippled UK economy.
It comes as haulage bosses say they are struggling to find enough drivers to keep
the economy moving and are calling on the Government to act swiftly to address a
problem which has now reached a critical level.
Dulson Training has bases in Shrewsbury, Telford and Wrexham, providing all types
of training, including HGV, PCV, towing, driver CPC, forklift, First Aid, and ADR
Mr Dulson said: “The haulage industry is in a desperate state because it just can’t
get enough HGV drivers on the road. This is having a devastating effect on the
number of deliveries it needs to make to keep the supply chain moving, which in turn
will have a greater and greater impact on consumers.
“The Road Haulage Association says there is currently a shortage of more than
100,000 drivers in the UK out of a pre-pandemic total of 600,000 on the roads.
Before Covid the shortage was estimated at 60,000 - so it’s plain to see just how
serious the problem is!
“Added to this, 25,000 fewer candidates passed their test last year compared to
2019. It was a worrying situation before the pandemic but has deteriorated still
further since then.
“There are several reasons: Brexit has forced many European drivers to think about
their future and have opted to seek job opportunities outside the UK, changes to tax
rules have made self-employed drivers less of an attractive option, some existing
drivers have reduced their hours, retired or simply left the industry, and then there’s
Mr Dulson said Covid stopped all driver training and testing for almost 18 months
and when it did restart it was at a reduced and restricted level. He also highlighted
how some DVSA examiners returned to work after almost 18 months and then took
holidays - reducing testing to practically zero.
“Since May we have seen a return to pre-pandemic testing capacity, but it must be
said that the pre-Covid capacity was poor and was raising loads of concerns at the
time with a lack of testing numbers really restricting new entrants into the industry,”
he added. “And a return to pre-Covid levels simply isn’t good enough, we need to
increase the test availability for HGV drivers.
“There is talk within the industry about examiners increasing the number of tests they
carry out from four tests a day to five or six, and there must be scope for examiners
to carry out more testing through working overtime and at weekends.
“Another answer to the crisis could be to delegate examiners within training
organisations - training up experienced people to deliver tests would significantly
increase test availability.
“It’s frustrating for us because at Dulson Training we have the instructor, equipment
and customer capacity but are restricted by a lack of DVSA test availability. There
are steps which can be taken to start easing the driver shortage problem but they
need to be taken now!”
With Dulson Training, new pass drivers will be given the opportunities to find
placements promptly with earning potentials of up to 60k per annum.
“With a relatively short time scale to train and, in comparison to some careers, cost-
effective training courses to achieve the licences and the almost guaranteed job
prospects it is very difficult to find another industry that compares currently,” Mr
Dulson Training have excellent relationships with many local hauliers and employers and can assist with helping new pass HGV or Forklift drivers finding work placements.
For more information about the services provided by Dulson Training, call Wrexham
01978 805868, Telford 01952 770659, Shrewsbury 01743 709611 or visit the