Driver shortage

For a number of years industry has been concerned about the combined impact of an ageing professional hgv driver workforce and the lack of new entrants coming through to replace those who leave the sector as a result of retirement or to pursue different careers.

With new driver licence acquisitions in 2013 25 per cent lower than in 2008, there is a lack of people filling the void left by those leaving the industry. While the recession meant that there was a delay in the consequences of this lack of fresh recruits being felt, with the recovery the issue is now coming to a head. Sadly, not enough young people are considering driving as a career option. There are several reasons for this, including: the cost of licence acquisition, lack of understanding of the sector, poor sector image, driver medical requirements and low quality driver facilities.

The impact of the driver shortage is also being exacerbated by other factors, including the implementation of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), which appears to be acting as the trigger for some older drivers to retire early. Changes to medical requirements for vocational driver licensing in respect of health issues such as diabetes and sleep apnoea are also likely to disproportionately affect the industry, with nearly half of hgv drivers over 50 years old.

What is FTA campaigning for?

  • Student style loans for vocational training
  • Better driver facilities
  • Quicker turnaround of medical queries by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
  • A campaign to raise awareness of the logistics sector - in partnership with the Department for Education
  • Members to come together to promote the logistics industry and engage with the public

FTA Skills Summit 2016

FTA's second Skills Summit - Attract, Recruit, Retain - sponsored by DAF Trucks, took place on 17 March at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The free event, which attracted over 500 people, explored issues surrounding the skills shortage in the transport and logistics industry and steps needed to attract new staff. Delegates and speakers looked at the skills shortage across the whole industry, including drivers, fleet managers, technicians and engineers. Key issues included apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy, engaging with young people, attracting women to the industry and industry image.

Read the Summit Report (page turner version)

View presentations and delegate materials from the FTA Skills Summit, March 2016


The Skills Shortage Report (November 2017)

The Skills Shortage Report (July 2017)

FTA's Careers that Deliver brochure (November 2016)

The Driver Shortage Report (October 2016)

Further information

Find out more from our feature on driver shortages published in Freight magazine (September 2014).

Read our briefing note on ‘Funding sources for driver training’ (members only).

Contact Sally Gilson, FTA’s Skills Policy Development Manager.