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UK facing looming driver shortage

The UK is facing a looming LGV driver shortage with the need to be CPC accredited by September 2014, and and a relatively old workforce, creating very real risks to recovery.

A new report from Skills for Logistics (SfL) titled A looming Driving Shortage? reveals there has been a 31% decline in LGV tests passed (C, C+E, C1, C1+E) during the last four years, with the 2010/11 total standing at to 22,700 according to Department for Transport data.

Worse, not all of these licence holders are becoming professional drivers: just over 12,000 of these individuals applied for the now mandatory (for all new drivers) Driver Qualification Card.

The findings back up CM’s own investigation into the issue (CM, 15 March), which revealed that tests taken (C and C+E) had more than halved from 2005/06 to 2009/10 to just 43,094.

The shortage will be even more acute for the sector as more than a quarter of LGV drivers are aged 60 or above, while just 1% are under the age of 25. Drivers retiring in the next five years will leave a demand for 48,000 drivers.

While there are 1,545,000 LGV licence holders, just 299,000 drive professionally. SfL estimates there is currently a shortfall of 2.7 million Driver CPC training hours, suggesting many older drivers do not intend to continue working past the September 2014 CPC deadline.

“The driver shortage is not new but its effects were mitigated by the economic downturn,” says Ross Moloney, director at SfL. “Now, as the UK economy recovers, resolving this issue will be critical to avoid holding up growth.”

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