Driver shortages to threaten Christmas deliveries?

The latest edition of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s (REC) JobsOutlook survey has highlighted the extent of the growing issue of driver shortages in the run up to the Christmas peak season.

The subject has already been taken up by Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, a former haulier, who has been lobbying for increased support for recruitment in the sector, alongside the Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association.

With higher than forecasted import volumes moving into the UK just as the new Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training regime is implemented, employers are finding it difficult to source enough drivers with relevant qualifications to fulfil Christmas peak demand.

The JobsOutlook survey, launched yesterday, revealed that 23 per cent of employers looking to recruit drivers and distribution workers through agencies are expecting shortages. Indeed, employers are more worried about filling driver vacancies than any other job type.

With demand for drivers accelerating just as the supply pool contracts, the challenge of finding suitable candidates is set to continue, the report concludes. For available haulage drivers with the right skills, however, the forecast looks good.

Steve Wortley, Managing Director at Outsauce comments: “We are dedicated to supporting the supply chains we are part of to run as smoothly as possible.

“The haulage industry is currently suffering as we hit the seasonal Christmas peak, but, even more notably, this short-term crisis is indicative of a wider skills shortage in many sectors. We believe that the solution is to ensure that all intermediaries in the supply chain work together to provide the incentives and training opportunities necessary to encourage more people into the industry.

“Our job is to make life as easy as possible for our contractor workers, and our customers, by taking care of the admin and compliance burden that comes with flexible working arrangements. We’ll continue to work with both seasonal drivers and our customers who place them to help reduce the barriers they face and make job opportunities as attractive as possible.”


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