CBA welcomes recognition of HGV driver shortages

Another industry body has responded to the announced Government actions to mitigate the chronic shortage of HGV drivers in the UK, with the Chemical Business Association (CBA) welcoming aspects of the response but also emphasising that ‘more still needs to be done’.
In an open letter to the logistics sector, the Secretaries of State for Transport, Work and Pensions, and the Environment announced a package of initiatives, including:

  • Measures to speed-up the qualification and examination process for HGV drivers and achieve a target of 2,000 successful passes each week
  • A new Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship standard starting in August 2021 with increased funding of £7,000 per apprentice. This will also attract the existing £3,000 apprentice grant that is available from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021
  • A further new apprenticeship, the Urban Driver, is currently being developed and a DWP driver training pilot is also underway
  • A programme of work on lorry parking and improving daytime/overnight facilities for drivers

Over recent weeks, CBA has written to the Secretaries of State for Business and Transport highlighting the driver shortage issue and the potential consequences for the supply of goods and raw materials should immediate measures not be taken to address the problem.

Tim Doggett, CBA’s chief executive, said: “We welcome many of these measures as a clear acknowledgement of the driver shortage issue and the need for urgent action. Many CBA members are reporting ongoing and increasing delays delivering essential chemicals to key sectors of the economy, such as water treatment.
We welcome the Government’s intention to continue working with the industry and we need to use today’s announcement as a springboard to develop more long-term solutions to driver shortages that are disrupting the UK supply chain. However, more still needs to be done to solve the current issues”