Logistics UK welcomes the package of measures announced by government today (25 September), aimed at easing the HGV driver shortage. Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK, comments:  
“The decision to grant 5,000 temporary HGV driver visas to help overcome the driver shortage crisis in the short term is a huge step forward in solving the disruption to supply chains we are seeing today; we are so pleased the government has listened to our calls and has made this bold decision to support the UK economy
“We are also pleased that, in addition to increasing DVSA HGV testing capacity, the government has listened to Logistics UK’s request for additional training support by providing funded courses to enable more people to qualify as HGV drivers. This, alongside the current apprenticeship standard is fantastic news for recruiting more talent into industry. 
“Logistics UK is also delighted that DfT have agreed to jointly send nearly 1 million letters to all drivers who currently hold an HGV driving licence, urging them to come back to the occupation. Conditions of employment and pay have been improving across the sector, and with fantastic opportunities available, now is the perfect time to consider returning to the industry.”
Speaking of the decision to write to all drivers who currently hold an HGV licence, Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This is the perfect time for anyone thinking about re-joining our vital road haulage industry to do so, with a notable and much deserved rise in salaries available for drivers. 
“We’re taking a range of steps to help industry address the driver shortage, and we gladly join sector leaders in encouraging those who already hold an HGV licence to think about returning to a rewarding career as a professional driver.”
Following the announcement of these measures, it is vital the government looks to the medium and longer-term, as Ms de Jong explains: “We now look forward to working with government to address the longer-term causes of the HGV driver shortage, by helping industry to attract new British workers through measures such as the improvement of driver facilities.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With COVID-19, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods. For more information about the organisation and its work, including its ground-breaking research into the impacts of COVID-19 on the whole supply chain, please visit logistics.org.uk