Strong demand for drivers as Christmas looms

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Manpower has reported strong demand from all type of commercial vehicle drivers as companies gear up for the anticipated Christmas retail sales boom.

“We are seeing a particularly strong demand in the coming quarter for all types of drivers but especially for Class 1 and Class 2 drivers,” said Simon Edwards, ManpowerGroup sector director – logistics.

Edwards was commenting on the latest Manpower employment outlook survey for the fourth quarter, which at +2 was marginally down on the third quarter’s +3.

“This year, we are noticing that several key clients are looking to take on staff much earlier in anticipation of peak demand, with some wanting staff in place as early as October,” he said.

“This is a marked difference even to last year, when companies were leaving it much later to take on staff – sometimes only a week or two before they were needed. This is for a number of reasons, there is a general feeling in the market that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find good, quality and reliable drivers for the home delivery networks and as this Christmas has all the hallmarks of being the busiest for online shopping, companies do not want to lose out on securing the best staff to cope with the additional demand.”

Edwards also noted that: “In support of a recovering construction sector, more and more of our customers are looking for Class 2 lorry loaders, as builders and respective industries pick up.

“Separately, industries such as the postal market, courier firms and retailers are looking for Cat B and 7.5T drivers as the boom in home delivery continues.”

Looking across all sectors, the national seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of +6 per cent was up from +5 in the third quarter suggesting that 2013 would finish with the strongest fourth quarter since before the financial crisis.

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