Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lack of Skilled Freight Drivers and Other Logistics Professionals Attracts Political Interest

New Transport Committee Inquiry Launched
Shipping News Feature

UK – With many UK freight and logistics industry bodies vociferous in their warnings and several petitioning the government for a solution to the sectors’ skills shortage, the Transport Committee has launched an inquiry into skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector with the Committee's objective being to investigate what action the government has taken to address industry concerns about the situation and assess how effective the resultant government's response has been.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the inquiry having been one of the principal driving forces in warning that the industry is facing a long-term challenge to attract and recruit sufficient people to a career in professional driving, and often pointing out that the skills shortage in the logistics sector has reached crisis point. David Wells FTA Chief Executive said:

“The FTA is delighted that the Transport Committee is going to investigate the lack of skilled drivers as this has been an important issue for our members who have been concerned about this for a very long time. In my recent conversations with MPs I have emphasised the real problems the logistics sector is having in finding skilled staff and the Government needs to play its role in helping deliver the goods for the UK economy.”

Policy relating to workforce planning and skills falls under the remit of several Government departments. The Transport Select Committee says that it recognises the importance of other departments' policies on this topic, but is particularly interested to receive evidence on the following points, which relate directly to Department of Transport policy:

  • The extent to which statistics reflect the experience of road haulage companies regarding the shortage of a skilled workforce in the road haulage sector.
  • The role of Government in supporting recruitment, and encouraging a diverse workforce, for the road haulage industry.
  • The role of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification in improving the professionalism and safety of drivers from the UK and abroad on UK roads.
  • Aspects of current Government policy which may deter new entrants to the workforce e.g. proposals to ban daytime deliveries in cities.
  • The quality of daytime and overnight facilities for road freight drivers.
The deadline for written submissions is 19 October 2015 and should be sent via the Transport Committee inquiry page. How to fill the skills gap and to engage, develop and retain staff is currently been featured within the current FTA Transport Manager Conference 2015 series, which includes a presentation focusing on plans for solving the industry wide problem of a paucity of suitable drivers.