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Major haulage industry survey

Major haulage industry survey launched by RECs largest sector group

A skills shortage within the haulage and logistics industry has been highlighted as a continuing major issue in a new survey published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederations Drivers Group.

Research carried out on behalf of the group, the RECs largest specialist sector, revealed that more than 200,000 skilled workers will be needed within the industry in the next decade.

There is concern among both recruiters and employers about the current shortages, a gap which will widen because of the industrys ageing workforce. This is compounded by the fact the industry, the fifth largest in the UK, has the highest proportion of employees who are educated to below NVQ Level 2 or have no qualifications.

Andrew Horner, Chair of the Drivers Sector Group and a member of the REC board, said: Despite the current recession, this is still a worrying shortfall of skilled workers within haulage and logistics. Although there are less opportunities available than last year, we still need to attract more people.

One of the challenges we face is changing the perception of haulage and logistics as a career choice in particular to women and ethnic minorities who are under-represented in the industry.

Andrew continued: We will also be working closely with Skills for Logistics which is developing its own range of nationally recognised qualifications so we can improve the skillset of the workforce and raise standards within it.

The survey said the industry, worth more than 74 billion annually to the UK economy, currently employs 2.2 million staff who work for the 196,000 companies within haulage and logistics.

It identified that the major issues facing the industry were:
Foreign competition
Safety regulations
Fuel costs
Legislation
UK road management

Complaints about increasing amounts of legislation that has led to concerns about compliance issues had been made by recruiters as well as employers while at the same time, it was noted there was a desire for raising the industrys professional standards.

In particular, temporary recruitment within the industry had been put at a disadvantage because of the current raft of employment legislation alongside new regulations governing haulage.

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