The simple image of the HGV drive shortage has been one of the terrifying sights the British government ministers witnessed. This driver shortage has created havoc across the economy, and there is the possibility that it can plague the country throughout the winters. The manufacturing and retail industries of the UK are highly dependent on the movement of goods through roads. That isn’t possible, causing a shortage of goods in the supermarkets and on petrol forecourts.
- Cause of the HGV driver shortage:
Some factors are suspected of causing the driver shortage—Covid-19, Brexit and the problems that arose from digging trade for years.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, everything was shut down, resulting in the driving tests for the HGV drivers to be stopped. That means very few people entered this business, and now there aren’t enough people to work. And at the same time, many drivers were facing reduced hours or layoffs due to which they left the trade. Since new people weren’t admitted and most people left, a significant gap caused a shortage of drivers.
The other factor in Brexit, most of the EU workers lost their right to work in the UK, as well as there were new order regulations that were put in place that made it harder to work between Britain and the continent.
- After-math of the shortage:
You might have seen empty shelves at your supermarkets in the recent weeks, or you have found yourself standing in long queues for petrol or have found your usual garage closed altogether.
However, there isn’t much shortage of goods or resources in the UK. But the retailers are now facing a hard time moving things around the country. Warehouses are full, but only the transport channel is restricted because distributors cannot drive the lorry, which can even impact Christmas.
- Why aren’t the government Hiring foreign drivers?
Due to shortages, some industry leaders need the profession added to a limited list of trades wherein people can easily acquire the right to work in Britain.
The authorities have resisted this, saying it would be a short-term repair. However, reports are saying it can be U-turn soon.
But there is also justification for this because other EU countries are also facing shortages due to covid related recruitment, so there isn’t a surety that even if Uk opens the door for recruitment, there would be a lot of rush.
However, the transport secretary has shown some action by addressing the shortfall and recruiting domestic workers. He also increased capacity for HGV license testing to try and reach his goal.
Before most of the recruitment problems, the reason for the drivers to leave their job was that they weren’t being paid well. However, the narrative has changed, and the lorry drivers have been naming their prices.
- How can you reduce this issue?
The government can implement some policies regarding the recruitments to decrease the shortage; however, other than that following are some long term fixes with which businesses can handle the situation.
- Better pay:
When spending on your business, you don’t hold back to get the best service. You might get your office redone from western industrial business interiors, but when it comes to paying your drivers, most of the firms hold back from spending huge sums. One simple and obvious solution to reduce the shortage is to announce better pay for the job. However, this would introduce competitiveness among the business. And the competitive Seller market creates instability and uncertainty.
- Clear Career Path:
More stability can be achieved by giving the drivers a clear view of the career path by increasing pays and being responsible for most individuals.
- Hiring women:
Most of the time, women are neglected and under-represented in this particular kind of job. However, attracting female drivers for this profession can also be a positive solution.
- Better Facilities:
This is amongst the easiest solution. By providing good working conditions for your drivers, you can hold onto them for a long time. It will not only reduce shortage but will add to a happier workforce.
The HGV driver’s shortage has been getting incredibly worse. This issue isn’t limited to the United Kingdom, but numerous compounding elements have transformed it from a long term nuisance to an acute problem demanding immediate attention.
As we’ve explored, it could be feasible to relieve some of the pressure with the solutions discussed above. However, most people think that this problem will take ages to solve. The need to address this issue has in no way been higher, but the solution would demand focus and action on several fronts.