Tags: industry-insights-driving, Driving, blog

​With an estimated 76,000 HGV drivers needed to close the widening skills gap, the UK’s driving industry is feeling the strain.

One of the biggest issues facing companies is the lack of young talent entering the sector. Currently, the average age of a driver is 47, but as the costs of acquiring the correct licences exceed £5,000 and getting insurance for under-25s remains an expensive task, bringing fresh faces into the cabin is only getting harder.

As Brexit and COVID-19 result in fewer drivers from Europe, The UK’s driving sector needs young talent more than ever. However, a new generation requires new methods of attraction.

Shifting away from the unpredictability

While the driving industry may be suffering from a lack of visibility, its association with long, unsociable schedules often leave many looking for careers with a better work-life balance. The unpredictability of working hours has been a leading cause of drivers leaving the sector.

For many, being unsure of when they’ll finish work is only exacerbated by delays, whether that’s traffic or waiting at a site. Moving forward, companies need to start doing more to ensure shifts become more predictable, easing the burden on drivers.

Be prepared to take risks

To expand the available talent pool, the industry needs to be willing to take chances on those with less experience. Instead of looking for those who can hit the ground running, companies need to train staff so they have the skills necessary for the particular job.

There’s already evidence of this happening with businesses offering warehouse to wheels training schemes. However, with 20% of all HGV drivers set to hit retirement age within the next decade, more needs to be done to create new opportunities.

Lindsey Thompson, Associate Director at Search Driving discusses the challenges facing young people:

​It is very difficult to offer young and also newly qualified drivers work as the premiums on DNI and clients insurance say that the driver must have held their vocational licence for a minimum of 2 years with at least 6 months HGV driving experience in the relevant category – It’s a catch 22 as one can’t exist without the other.

​At Search Consultancy, we’ve taken an in-depth look into the skills gap facing the entire UK. For more information on the challenges facing driving and other sectors, download our 2021 Skills Shortage Report today.

With over 25 years of experience throughout the Driving sector, we’re perfectly placed to help solve your recruitment issues. Whether you’re a driver looking for the next journey or a client in need of new talent, get in touch with our team today and see how we can help.