Driver recruitment and retention is still the biggest concern for hauliers, according to the Road Haulage Association’s latest Cost Movement Report.
Operators blame Brexit uncertainty for widening the gap to around 60,000 and say they’re worried about controversial clean air zones which will see council chiefs slapping up to £100 daily charges on non-Euro VI trucks.
In another worrying development, members’ operational costs have risen above inflation despite fuel costs lowering in real terms over the last 12 months.
With the General Election only days away, RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett urged the next government to change Apprenticeship Levy rules so that firms can access funding to help them recruit and train the next generation of drivers. Levy support for vital C+E driver training still isn’t available despite 40 percent of UK trucks requiring the qualification.
“We have to change this equation if we’re serious about tackling the driver crisis. Our Road to Logistics programme which aims to swell the ranks in the industry needs a Levy which works, but at the moment it doesn’t.”