Addressing the skills shortage

For a number of years industry has been concerned about the combined impact of an ageing professional HGV driver workforce and the lack of new entrants coming through

We are actively involved in addressing the skills shortage through our partnership with Think Logistics, our work at the Skills Show and more...

FTA is addressing the increasing concern surrounding skills shortages within logistics. Members have highlighted that HGV drivers and mechanics are becoming increasingly hard to recruit and the age demographic, specifically within the HGV driver population, is significantly older than the national average. As a result of these factors and the reliance on labour from the EU within various roles, the sector is facing serious labour shortages over the next five years.

There is a lack of people filling the void left by those leaving the industry. Sadly, not enough young people are considering logistics and especially HGV driving as a career option. There are several reasons for this, including: the cost of licence acquisition; lack of understanding of the sector; poor sector image; working hours; and, lack of quality driver facilities.

FTA is in its third year of sponsorship of Think Logistics, the brainchild of Steve Granite of Abbey Logistics, the volunteer-led programme, run by Career Ready, works to promote logistics careers within schools and colleges. It engages students in workshops and explains what logistics actually is.

As part of promoting logistics careers to young people, FTA has exhibited at the Skills Show, the largest careers show in the UK held at the NEC Birmingham, in 2016 and 2017. Over 80,000 students, teachers and parents visit the show. Working with partners, FTA has managed to connect with young people and their influencers using the message: ‘Be a driver, Be an engineer, Be a transport manager’. A bespoke careers brochure was developed for both years called Careers that deliver, highlighting case studies showing the careers available.

What is FTA campaigning for?

  • The Government should reform the Apprenticeship Levy to make it a Training Levy – open to more forms of vocational training and workers – as this would ensure the upskilling of the UK’s workforce is as wide as possible and suits all business needs
  • The removal of the 20 per cent off-the-job training restriction for apprenticeships within England
  • Government to trust businesses’ judgement with regards to their skills needs and ability to design training that is fit for purpose
  • Better driver facilities
  • Raising awareness of the logistics sector
  • Members to come together to promote the logistics industry and engage with the public

Find out more

Read the Skills Shortage Report November 2018

Skills Shortage Report July 2017

FTA's Careers that Deliver - Opportunities in Logistics 

The Driver Shortage Report: Issues and Trends

FTA Skills Summit 2016 Report

Further information

Think Logistics

Driver Shortage: Drivers for economic growth published in Freight Magazine (September 2014).

Contact Sally Gilson, Head of Skills Campaigning at FTA.

Related campaigns

Fit and proper facilities for lorry drivers

Standing up for logistics

Other campaigns