Sandra Macdonald, National Driver Training Manager at Pertemps takes a look at the driver shortage and describes how we need to get to the root cause of the issue. See Sandra present at the Microlise Conference Motor Transport Workshop, at 2pm.
Pertemps View: The Role of Training in Challenging and Changing Perceptions
Pertemps Ltd has been working within recruitment across all sectors since 1961 but one major division focuses on and works within the Logistics industry. They have in that time increased their market presence and are now the largest recruiter of temporary drivers in the UK with 7,000 payrolled every week.
What has become apparent is the noticeable shortage of drivers within the Industry as a whole and it is currently estimated that there is a deficit of almost 45,000. The Office of National Statistics figures highlight an additional 80,000 drivers who hold a valid CPC card but do not work within the industry. With 299,000 working drivers this shortage forms a significant proportion and poses a serious threat to what is the lifeblood for the UK and international supply chain.
To be able to move forward the reasons behind the sector shortage should be considered but importantly acted upon in a proactive way which works jointly with the drivers. Identification of whether the problems are caused by poor recruitment, retention or a combination of both is key. Research highlights drivers who are reaching retirement and not being replaced by younger drivers who perhaps perceive the industry as lacking in career potential albeit incorrectly, older drivers not wishing to commit financially to CPC, poor pay, and poor facilities. All of this is not news and will require a multi agency approach as there is no one single solution.
The LGV Industry is considered to be a predominantly male environment and perhaps conjures up a stereotypical image, so service providers must make facilities not only fit for purpose in the 21st Century but far more female friendly. Positive marketing to highlight career progression and the numerous specialist roles that are on offer, even targeting educational establishments so that students consider it away from the more traditional choices on offer and a credible career choice. Challenging and changing perceptions can and will take time for individual drivers, companies, the public at large and policy makers to fully engage in appreciating the drivers as professionals who represent both local andnational brands. How they act on the road can make or break reputation so the provision of training to ensure skills are up to date can play a huge part.
The workshop will look at this issue in more detail and how Pertemps are working with clients to reverse this trend and increase driver retention and satisfaction.