The Department for Transport has issued an open letter to the UK Logistics Sector regarding the current HGV driver shortage. The letter outlines the government’s plans on how they will help tackle the problem.
The first measure referenced in the letter is regarding the backlog of HGV driver tests that is preventing new HGV drivers from coming into the job. The Department for Transport recognises that increasing testing capacity is key to providing additional drivers. They say that the DVLA is developing solutions to increase testing capacity and are now passing 1,500 tests per week compared to 1,150 pre COVID. This has been achieved by increasing staff numbers and using overtime.
Further measures include increasing testing capacity which will involve consulting about the delegation of off-road manoeuvres in the Heavy Goods Vehicle driving test. It is also being considered whether or not to issue provisional license entitlements for articulated lorries at the same time as rigid lorries. This would allow those wanting to take the articulated lorry test to be able to skip the rigid lorry practical test which would free up more capacity for the rigid lorry practical test.
The second measure discussed in this open letter is the cost of training to become a Heavy Goods Vehicle driver. The Department for Transport is currently reviewing proposals for financial support created by industry sources to help improve driver recruitment. There will also be a revised Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship which will be available from 2nd August 2021. The revised apprenticeship will include an increased funding band of £7,000.
Finally, the Department for Transport has confirmed that they will continue working with the industry to create advertising content that will promote and encourage more people into the haulage industry.
How can we help?
At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of transport and logistics accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. We act for a large number of clients in this sector across our three offices, ranging from hauliers to international couriers, and understand the challenges this dynamic sector faces.
Nearly every other commercial sector is reliant on the services transport and logistic businesses provide and, in many ways, this specialist sector is the linchpin for our country’s economy.
With our experience in the transport and logistics sector we are able to develop a close understanding of your business and, through active year-round involvement, we can help you anticipate and deal with challenges quickly and effectively.
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