A great many words have been shared about the driver shortage and what we need to do to combat it. In recent months, the conversation has continued within the industry and in Whitehall as the enormity of the problem becomes increasingly apparent.
The Transport Committee published its Fourth Report, Skills and Workforce Planning the Road Haulage Sector, on 29th July and the Government’s response was received on 6th October.
The Committee has drawn several conclusions about the possible reasons for the shortage – a need to increase recruitment, a need for people with the right qualifications and licenses, and a need to improve retention were among these.
The Government responded with recommendations to promote the sector in underrepresented groups, as if the diversity balance of those working in the industry improves, recruitment should become easier. The Logistics sector needs to increase the number of entry points into the industry to ensure that it can attract new employees from all sections of society including women, older workers, military service leavers and those from other driving occupations.
The Committee has called for funding for driver training and the Government has stated that they have a target of delivering 30,000 new apprenticeships linked with transport infrastructure by 2020.
Concerns have also been raised by the Committee and the Government about ensuring that public safety is not compromised and that the high standards expected of drivers is maintained.
System Group’s solutions
In 2016, System Group launched a new driver recruitment programme, Driving Ambition, aimed at taking those who are interested in joining the sector from car licence to LGV licence to employment in a matter of weeks. Through Driving Ambition, System Group is working with some of the biggest brands to help them deal with their driver shortages and they want to ensure that the new recruits are filling permanent needs.
The programme addresses the safety concerns people may have about employing newly passed drivers by adding additional training days covering reversing, banksman, tail lift usage, and coupling/uncoupling to their driver training.
They can also offer advice and assistance with issues surrounding insuring newly passed drivers.
System Group is committed to diversity in the Logistics Industry and is actively promoting and encouraging women to see logistics as a viable, promising and long-lasting career.
System Group is also leading discussions in the industry about Apprenticeships and is actively involved in the new Trailblazers and Standards.
They can help employers analyse their business needs and can help identify how best to use the Levy that comes into force in Spring 2017. The Levy, and the subsidies that non-Levy paying organisations will receive from the Government, can be used to help recruit new drivers into the industry and, working closely with training providers, can fund the highest quality training to ensure that new drivers are among the safest on the road.
There have indeed been a lot of words shared about the driver shortage. System Group is keen to talk about solutions to that problem and is taking action every day to combat it on multiple fronts and looking for new and better ways to ensure this problem does not arise again.
For more information about System Group’s solutions to your training problems, visit www.system-group.com or call 0845 609 9003.