Brexit uncertainty adding to driver shortages, says RHA

Brexit uncertainty adding to driver shortages, says RHA

Brexit uncertainty is adding to the driver shortage crisis in the UK, the Road Haulage Association has said.

It follows a national survey of RHA's 7,200 operators which confirmed that wages for HGV drivers are increasing faster than inflation. 

RHA said its members, which account for more than 250,000 UK registered HGVs, are increasingly reporting the struggle to find and keep experienced, professional drivers in all sectors.

The RHA said there remains a drastic shortage of HGV drivers in the UK and Brexit uncertainty is exacerbating the problem. 

Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “Brexit uncertainty has contributed to the shortage. It is still not clear if EU nationals can continue to work in the UK - the devaluation of Sterling has meant our wages are worth less to European staff. 

“The sector has been working through the Trailblazers apprenticeship system to develop training for new commercial drivers and the RHA team provided a considerable amount of information to enable the Trailblazers sector group to write an additional three, level two apprenticeships.

“However as with many new apprenticeship standards, take-up has been slow and it has been a challenge to develop apprenticeships that fit business models of many companies - bureaucracy is a constant barrier to quick progress.

“The haulage sector has, to date, paid in over £150 million into the Apprenticeship Levy and to date, has only drawn back in the region of £10 million. Proof, if proof were needed that the system is not working.”