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As the UK’s fifth largest industry, the HGV sector is an essential part of the economy. This has become even more apparent over recent months , as lorry drivers have become the unsung heroes of the pandemic; keeping the country moving and goods delivered in a timely manner.
Like healthcare staff and teachers, and according to Gov.co.uk, most HGV drivers have been designated as key workers within the current climate. This is because of the essential activities they undertake in their day-to-day roles, moving food, medicine and other vital items. It’s this amazing effort from drivers across the country, putting themselves at the frontline of the pandemic, that has allowed the majority of the population to stay at home and follow the recommended government advice.
As National Lorry Week starts on Monday 16th November, it’s the perfect opportunity to say ‘Thank you!’ to all those that work for Search Driving, and throughout the wider road transport industry.
National Lorry Week is a celebration of all the crucial work undertaken by HGV drivers and their support teams, which has been especially highlighted in 2020. We thought it was the ideal opportunity to talk to our own Search Driving team, to find out what they love about the industry, and why they started out as a driver.
With a sharp increase in the demand for truckers, and the average age in their mid-fifties, experts are asking how to encourage younger people into the industry. Youth unemployment is set to triple across the UK, with swathes of people out of work in hospitality and retail, so is now the time for an industry pivot? We asked our drivers how they got into the industry in the first place, in hopes that it will encourage younger talent into these roles.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the lorry drivers we surveyed have been in the industry for 10+ years, and most are male. When asked about their reasons for working as a HGV driver, many cited “money” as the main benefit. A 2019 report by the RHA (Road Haulage Association) showed that salaries were rising for drivers across the country, and this was before the haulage spike in 2020. Other answers included “family tradition”, “a good option after redundancy”, and job security, fuelled by “a growing demand for drivers”.
With only 2% of drivers being under 25, and an estimated 60,000 driver shortages across the country, attracting new people into the industry is no easy feat. But the logistics industry is huge, and the roles diverse. Driven by innovation, technology and with a focus on sustainability, it can be an exciting step onto the career ladder for the younger generation.
When asked what advice our Search Driving team would give to someone starting out in the HGV industry, “caution on the road” was cited as a priority. “Asking for advice from more experienced drivers” was also highly recommended, and “being aware of the latest driving updates” was seen as important too.
“That’s what makes industry-specific weeks such National Lorry Week so important,” said Lindsey Thompson, Associate Director of Search Driving. “We want to highlight that the industry is going from strength to strength, in a climate where a lot of other industries are suffering. If you like driving and being your own boss, I’d encourage you to check out what options are available as a HGV Driver with us.
Happy National Lorry Week to all of the Search Driving team, and keep up the fantastic work!”
If you’re looking for an opportunity with Search Driving, or want to speak to one of the team about your driving needs, get in touch with our team today. We’re specialists with decades in the industry, and we can help you.
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