Logistics UK, formerly the Freight Transport Association, has said that a career in logistics, including becoming an HGV driver, is the solution to spiralling unemployment rates, but the DVLA first needs to sort out the thousands of lost driving tests during the lockdown.
According to UK Haulier, The business group, which represents members from across the entire logistics sector, was responding to figures released from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which revealed that unemployment is now at 5.1 per cent, the highest it has been since 2016.
Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK policy director, said: “The logistics industry is in desperate need of workers to fill a variety of operational roles, including HGV drivers, but government policy is preventing workers from accessing these careers.”
The organisation is now urging the DVLA to implement a programme to catch up on the tens of thousands of lost driving tests during the lockdown. HGV driver training typically costs around £7,000 per person, and Logistics UK is calling on the government to provide interest-free loans or grants to train and resell potential employees.
“With the UK facing such high unemployment, those seeking work should not be prevented from taking advantage of the opportunities available in logistics,” said de Jong.
Driver Hire said that with vans now accounting for 10 per cent of vehicles on the road and an ageing HGV driver workforce, there are currently more opportunities for drivers and other logistics professionals than ever before, but added that the public often overlooks a career in the industry.
The average salary for a lorry driver ranges between £22,000 to £40,000, with some earning up to £60,000 depending on the licence category, working patterns and qualifications.
“From the logisticians overseeing the supply chain, right through to the drivers needed to manoeuvre commercial vehicles, there is a host of different avenues to explore, each providing opportunity for great progression,” Driver Hire added.
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