Truck driver numbers stabilise, but skills shortage remains

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 Data suggests that truck driver numbers are levelling out, despite a fall of 49,000 in Q4 2021.

Specifically, the reason for optimism is the an increasing number of driving tests.

Furthermore, the extra capacity from DVSA for test slots is also helping the situation.

Therefore, Elizabeth de Jong, director of policy at Logistics UK, believes that the mid-term outlook for truck driver numbers is good.

“The new ONS data shows that attracting new entrants to the profession is key to the resilience of the logistics sector,” she commnted.

de Jong also added that ensuring sufficient tests are available is also a priority. 

“The long waiting list to take a vocational HGV test in Great Britain has been a key contributor to the driver shortage crisis. 

“As a result, the data in the report revealed today shows that the DVSA is making progress in catching up on the testing backlog.” 

The backlog was due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, Logistics UK said it will be working with members and government to ensure the focus remains on reducing the shortfall in HGV drivers.

 Encouragingly, Logistics UK’s figures state 27,144 HGV vocational tests were undertaken in Q4 2021. 

In other words, that is a 53.5% increase, compared with the same quarter in 2019.

 The national statistics released this week show that the number of HGV drivers in the workforce continues to fall. 

The decrease in Q4 2021, compared to Q4 2019, was broadly the same as Q3 2021. 

However, it was less than the fall in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, one specialist with centres in Shropshire and Wrexham is making a big difference.

Dulston Training has passed over 1,000 drivers in the past 12 months.

As a result, it boasts one of the highest figures in the country. 

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