Worry in the transport sector about recruitment

Posted 24/04/2018 : By: Ashtons

Road Transport and Logistics business owners and managers are concerned about the continuing shortage in the number of drivers, according to a straw poll taken at an event for the transport sector in Ipswich today. Over two thirds of delegates raised their hands when asked if they had seen a deterioration in driver recruitment in the past three months. Conversely, not a single delegate had found an improvement.

“There are serious concerns in the road transport and logistics sector not only about the availability of UK or EU professional drivers but in the future other EU workers who account for a significant part of the workforce, impacting the viability of many businesses”, said Tim Ridyard, Partner, who specialises in this sector base at Ashtons Legal.

Tim adds: “Latest statistics suggest a shortfall of 45,000 to 50,000 commercial drivers in the UK. There are 300,000 people who drive for a living, and a further 200,000 people who drive as part of their job. There are a number of reasons for the shortage – the industry has become unattractive, workers cite bad facilities, low rates of pay and the costs of qualifying as issues that are deterring new people to the sector. We also have a huge number of drivers who will retire in the next ten years – 75,000 – and very few young people replacing them”.

The event, hosted by Ashtons and held at Trinity Park in Ipswich, welcomed over 70 people, the majority who were directors, business owners, consultants and transport managers from the road transport and logistics industries.

As well as presentations from Ashtons’ representatives on GDPR, employment law, investigations and a regulatory update, delegates heard from Richard Turfitt, Senior Traffic Commissioner and East of England Traffic Commissioner. Richard was appointed Senior Traffic Commissioner in 2017 and his presentations always prove popular with businesses operating in the sector. In this session, he included an operator’s licence update and discussed compliance management and the importance of robust internal systems.

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