With a current shortage of around 76,000 Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers within the UK, there’s no denying that the worrying decrease in staff numbers is a growing concern among haulage firms. Of course, like with so many other industries, Covid-19 has had a clear impact on numbers, with lorry driving tests only just resuming in April having faced months on hold due to the pandemic. However, something that looks to have had an even bigger impact on the decrease in drivers is Brexit.
As it stands, 2.8 million people are employed by the country’s logistics industry, with around 10.4% of them being EU nationals, down from 13.5% at the backend of 2019.
So, why has the UK leaving the EU played such a huge part in HGV driver shortage, what’s the solution and how can Zoom Recruitment help haulage firms beat Brexit?
Brexit and HGV drivers
The biggest influencing factor that’s come as a result of Brexit, is the drop in the value of the pound. Simply put, for foreign drivers, their wages just aren’t worth as much as they were pre-Brexit, especially when they’re sending them home to loved ones. Not only is this leading to current drivers leaving their job, returning to live with their families but it also means prospective staff are more reluctant to come and work in the UK.
Adding additional pressure, is the average age of lorry drivers, with only 1% of lorry driver being under 25 and almost half being over 50. It’s no secret that if foreign workers and older drivers are leaving their roles, then they need to be replaced. However, due to the lack of training and testing due to the pandemic, this has recently proven difficult.
How is the driver shortage affecting businesses?
Lorry drivers are undoubtedly underestimated, yet they play an essential role in keeping businesses and industries afloat by moving goods across the UK and Europe. Their value cannot be ignored, especially as the country gradually returns back to normal following more than a year in lockdown.
At the moment, the demand for drivers is growing, outweighing the number of staff actually available. This could make services like ‘next day delivery’ near to impossible, or at least very difficult for businesses to offer.
Ultimately, if the number of drivers continues to fall, this could have a detrimental impact on so many industries across the country. This means it is more important than ever for the team here at Zoom Recruitment to help get drivers back on the road again.
How can we beat the shortage?
Let’s break the stereotype. At the moment, HGV driving is a heavily male-dominated industry, with just over 1% of lorry drivers within the UK female. Encouraging and supporting women to take on HGV driving jobs could be a game-changer. Here at Zoom Recruitment, we look beyond gender and treat each candidate equally because ultimately, our goal is to match the driver with their perfect role, based completely on their passion, experience and qualifications.
At Zoom, we’re working incredibly hard to change the perception of lorry driving. While it’s often believed to be an industry built on poor working conditions and poor wages, we at Zoom know it couldn’t be more opposite. We work with some of the most established blue-chip brands in the industry, so many of whom are keen to recruit their next team member. HGV driving offers career progression and variety, not to mention great flexibility.
How can drivers find the best roles?
As a dedicated logistics recruitment agency, the team at Zoom Recruitment are here to find the best role for drivers looking for a new opportunity. We work in Kent, Surrey, London, the Midlands and beyond, providing round the clock support for both employers and candidates.
If you’re looking for a change in career, then have a read of our latest blog and find out if HGV driving could be the perfect job for you. If you’re ready to find your next role, then let the team of experts at Zoom Recruitment connect drivers and businesses together. We are here every step of the way, get in touch.