FTA INDUSTRY SUMMIT ON DRIVER CRISIS – HUNDREDS SIGN UP TO ATTEND
With road transport operators facing a chronic shortage of qualified professional drivers the Freight Transport Association has announced a one-day industry Summit to tackle the problem.
The FTA Industry Summit – ‘Solving the Driver Crisis’ will be held on Thursday 12 March at the Ricoh Stadium, Coventry with a capacity of up to 500 places. The event will bring together government officials, professional HR advisors, and experienced operators to work towards solutions to the current driver crisis.
- How big is the problem?
- What were operators’ experiences in the run-up to Christmas?
- Improving the perceptions of professional driving
- Reaching out to the labour market and the next generation of drivers
- Sources of Government funding and how to apply
Improving facilities for drivers on the road
James Hookham, MD –Membership & Policy said: “The driver shortage wasn’t just for Christmas … it will be with us for far longer than that. We are facing a long-term challenge to attract and recruit sufficient people to professional driving. We need to up our game in recruitment practices and start addressing some deep seated problems in the industry. We also need to ensure Government and other agencies are on our side and that we make best use of the support and funding that is already available.
“Solving the Driver Crisis will be a unique event to bring to together the best knowledge and experience in the industry and present to delegates the most up to date picture and collective advice and knowledge available in the industry”.
Delegates attending the free-to-attend event will also receive practical advice on dealing with driver shortage issues; discover how to ‘tap into’ government funding and learn from other attendees experience and how they overcame the problem of driver shortage.
David Wells to become FTA Chief Executive
After an extensive recruitment and interviewing process of both external and internal applicants, David Wells has been chosen to take on the role from Theo de Pencier who is scheduled to retire after eight years leading the Association.
Commenting on the appointment of the new Chief Executive, FTA President Ian Veitch said:
“As FTA’s President I would like to congratulate David Wells on his appointment as Chief Executive. With his extensive business and management experience David emerged as the outstanding candidate to become FTA’s CEO. He clearly demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of the freight industry and the logistics sector from both a policy and commercial aspect. Following a strong performance in 2014, FTA is in an excellent position to invest as we move forward. With a record number of members the Board has every confidence in the future under David’s leadership.”
David Wells originally joined FTA in 2009 as Finance and IT Director and has subsequently taken on additional responsibility for the Association’s vehicle inspection service, training and the tachograph analysis service including the successful development and recent launch of Visionfta.
During his six years at FTA he has successfully implemented a number of important financial and operational programmes, with his role expanding to include responsibility for over two thirds of the Association’s staff.
David Wells said:
“I am delighted to be taking on this role at an exciting time in FTA’s development. There are big challenges and changes facing the freight industry including driver shortage, road investment and the impending general election. It is important for me to continue the work FTA does in support of our members and I will strive to build on the success and reputation of the Association incorporating the priorities of the freight and logistics sector. We have a strong team in all areas of our activities and following on from 2014, which has been a record year for FTA, it will be a privilege to build on those achievements and take the Association forward.”
During his career David has worked extensively in manufacturing and distribution businesses, and has been responsible for warehousing and supply chains both in the UK and Europe. In the 1990s he was an integral part of a successful management team that built the UK’s largest home delivery network for distribution of healthcare products. David has a B Eng degree in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, as well as being a Chartered Management Accountant with a strong bias towards operational management.
Theo de Pencier will continue as the FTA Chief Executive until the end of April 2015. He will work together with David Wells during the first few months to ensure a smooth transition and a strong start to the new year.
FTA can trace its origins back to 1889 and is recognised as the voice of the freight and logistics industry, representing the transport interests of companies moving goods by road, rail, sea and air. FTA members operate over 220,000 goods vehicles – half the UK fleet – consign over 90 per cent of the freight moved by rail and 70 per cent of sea and air freight.