Road freight skills crisis: Have your say

Road freight skills crisis: Have your say

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Road Freight and Logistics, Chaired by Sir Mike Penning MP, has launched a call for evidence into the skills shortage that is affecting the road freight industry. 

The scope of the inquiry will cover the role of government and operators in supporting recruitment and encouraging a diverse workforce for the road haulage industry. It will also seek to address issues around attractiveness of the industry with focus on quality of employment and facilities for drivers. 

The Road Haulage Association estimates that there is a current driver shortage of 50,000 and a worsening skills gap.

In the first stage of evidence gathering the All-Party Parliamentary Group is seeking written submissions from those in the road freight and logistics industry and those with an interest in it. 

Commenting, Sir Mike Penning MP said: “For this APPG to make a difference for the industry we need to fully understand the problem for operators of every size and from across the country. Only when we have gathered this information can we go to Government with a firm set of recommendations and expectations of what can be done to tackle this serious and worsening problem.

“I want to use this evidence to help us effectively measure the progress that has been made since the Transport Select Committee produced its own report in 2016.

“I urge all affected businesses to engage with this process. I want to know whether the recommendations of the Transport Select Committee have made any tangible difference for your business and if not, where the problems exist and what Government and the industry alike should be doing differently’.’

This call for written evidence is the second stage of the APPG's inquiry into skills workforce planning, which opened with a oral evidence session in the Houses of Parliament and welcomed contributions from large and medium-sized hauliers as well as trade bodies that represent the industry. 

Some of the most significant issues raised in the discussion included reliance on EU labour exacerbated by Brexit; pay rate issues; low margins preventing reinvestment; and the apprenticeship levy.

Commenting, Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the RHA, which resources the APPG’s secretariat, said: “This call for evidence is an opportunity for our industry to get its voice heard in Parliament and Government.

“The skills shortage is huge and getting worse. We need innovative solutions such as our Road to Logistics initiative backed by government to encourage more people into our industry where there are great career opportunities”.

Written submissions, via Survey Monkey, will be accepted until 30 April. You can access the survey here