Skills shortage

Industry is increasingly concerned about the combined impact of an ageing professional HGV driver workforce and the lack of new entrants coming through. FTA is actively involved in addressing the skills shortage through our partnership with Think Logistics, Trailblazer and others.

Skills shortage


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, 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% 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.
  • A post-Brexit immigration policy that doesn’t restrict via salary or qualification thresholds but allows continued access to lower-skilled workers.


Policy Manager


Sally Gilson

Head of Skills Campaigns





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