Logistics businesses anticipate that 15 per cent of their current HGV driver vacancies will not be filled due to the nationwide skills shortage, according to the latest analysis.
The 2019 Logistics Report, launched by FTA in partnership with Santander Corporate and Commercial, polled the opinions of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses operating in the UK and internationally, to provide industry insight into the latest political and economic developments.
Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Campaigns at FTA, the organisation representing the interests of the logistics sector, said, “The nationwide shortage of skilled logistics staffcontinues to blight the sector.
“Respondents to FTA’s 2019 Logistics Report anticipate 15 per cent of current vacancies for HGV drivers will not be filled and for a further 36 per cent of current vacancies, they anticipate a long delay to find the right candidate. And it is not just HGV drivers: significant shortfalls of van drivers, warehouse staff, fitters, technicians and mechanics are also anticipated over the next 12 months.”
Ms Gilson added, “The logistics sector is the lifeblood of the nation’s economy, employing more than 2.7 million people and contributing £124 billion gross value added (GVA).From HGV drivers to warehouse staff, the UK economy simply cannot operate without the logistics workforce – businesses would come grinding to a halt and Britain would cease trading.
“An aging workforce, competition for skilled staff, and shifting migration patterns–in part in response to Brexit–mean we are facing serious challenges in the recruitment and retention of labour for key logistics roles. After all, the average age of a HGV driver is 48 years, as found in the survey, and 13 per cent of HGV drivers working in the UK are EU nationals; their continued residency is not guaranteed post-Brexit.”