Driver shortage threat to the economy

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An impending driver shortage for Large Goods Vehicles risks holding back economic recovery, according to a report released by Skills for Logistics.

The report, titled: “A Looming Driver Shortage? The evidence behind the concerns” finds that there are substantially more vacancies than candidates seeking an LGV profession, which has led to wages growing faster for drivers than other employees across the country.

Fewer people are taking LGV tests, and over the last four years there has been a 31 per cent decline in the number of individuals passing it.

The research found that of those who pass the LGV test, only 44 per cent go on to obtain the driver qualification card that allows them to drive professionally.

The report also shows that just one per cent of LGV drivers and five per cent of van drivers are female.

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Dr Ross Moloney, director of intelligence and strategy at Skills for Logistics, said: “The driver shortage is not new but its effects were mitigated by the economic downturn. Now, as the UK economy recovers, resolving this issue will be critical to avoid holding up growth. This is because more than 60 per cent of goods in Britain are moved on roads, which generated an annual turnover in 2010 of over £22bn.

“The report clearly shows that the logistics sector, which as a whole is vital to the UK economy, needs to be made more attractive as a career option – particularly to female and young recruits.”

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