The amount of people becoming LGV drivers has plummeted during the past five years.
Analysis of Driving Standards Agency data reveals a fall in tests taken (category C and C+E)
While 86,926 LGV tests were taken in 2005/06, this has fallen by more than half (43,094) in 2009/10. a similar fall during the same period, with a 45% drop from 39,220 to just 21,749.
Official government figures also show that driver jobs aren’t being filled. Data from Jobcentre Plus shows that in 2009/2010 there were 115,690 unfilled LGV driver vacancies nationally. This leapt by 51% to 235,663 in 2011/12.
Ross Moloney, director of intelligence and strategy at Skills for Logistics, says: “What is really striking about these figures is how they are so obviously at odds with the broad economic situation,” he says. “There is something at play here other than the general downturn.”
Andrew Dodds, marketing manager at System Training, says: “It’s estimated that more than 500,000 logistics jobs will be created over the next six years and we see apprenticeships as a key route to employment to help fill these vacancies. But we’ve also seen a drop in the number of people taking their LGV licence tests.”
Steve Wyberd, training manager at Cumbrian livestock and agricultural haulier WM Armstrong, advocates apprenticeships. While he concedes that the payoff comes in the longer term, he is pleased with the progress his three driver apprentices have made.
” [The advantage is] it doesn’t matter about the size of your company,” says Wyberd, who believes apprenticeships are suitable for all operators as long as they can find a good training provider