Government urged to tackle driver shortages
With an estimated shortage of 45,000 to 50,000 drivers in the UK, Drivers Direct believes the shortfall is posing a real threat as older drivers are retiring and young drivers can’t afford the £3000 cost of obtaining a truck license. At the moment there is no government apprenticeship in place to help people get into the industry.
Gethin Roberts, managing director of Driver Direct, commented, “Driver shortages are becoming a real problem and as a driving agency we feel more could be done by the Government to help get people in the industry and working. Currently 85% of everything bought in the UK is carried by a truck at some stage, so it is crucial we solve the drivers’ shortage crisis before it impacts on the economy.”
The annual online scramble is part of a dramatic change in the way we shop, with 20% of non-food sales now made online. By the end of 2015, retailers are expected to send more than 860m parcels to British homes, up from 600m in 2012, according to internet retail body IMRG.
Over the last year, online sales have risen, which has led to a 17% increase in vehicles on the road. The lack of new drivers, however, is causing real concern that retailers may have empty shelves over the Christmas period, if deliveries fall behind or if there is a period of adverse weather.