November 2020 – HGV drivers in demand to fill rising vacancies
HGV drivers have overtaken mechanics as the hardest roles to fill, according to Logistics UK’s sixth Logistics Performance Tracker (LPT6).
With the future shape of the economy and ongoing impact of COVID-19 still unclear, the need for Logistics UK to ensure government understands the effect of its policies and the support businesses in logistics require is as essential as ever.
According to the latest UK Labour Market statistics published by the ONS, the number of HGV drivers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance was 130 in September 2020, down 21.2%from a year ago, while the number of van drivers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance was 1,660, down from 17.8% on the previous year. This means there is an ever-shrinking pool of active jobseekers from which to recruit drivers and other logistics roles.
Vacancies in logistics have risen rapidly since 6 July, when they were only one-third of normal levels. According to ONS vacancies data for 16 October, the number of transport/logistics/warehouse online job adverts are 75% above their average.
The average across all sectors is job adverts running at 66% of normal levels. Logistics UK is campaigning to get urgent government action to address the driver shortage in the logistics sector. This includes addressing the chronic shortage of testing capacity, which limits the number of new starters joining the industry, the Apprenticeship Levy and a lack of accredited courses that can be funded.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Logistics UK has worked to secure from government a number of easements and relaxations to enable operations to continue. The business group’s cases for a significant proportion of these have been strengthened with evidence obtained from members’ responses to its surveys.