The Road Haulage Association is pleased that its relentless lobbying on behalf of members for the government to address the issue of funding for employers to train UK residents to drive in the haulage industry has finally resulted in an invitation for a high powered meeting at HM Treasury early next month.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We are asking that funding of up to £3,000 per person be made available and paid directly to the thousands of hauliers who are currently desperate for drivers. There have been suggestions that a loan system may be an option but we have told the government this would be a poor second best option.
“We need to break the pattern that has seen the UK under-invest in HGV driving skills and become far too reliant on drivers from Eastern Europe. These critical factors that have resulted the current shortage of drivers and, if not urgently addressed, will cause a bad situation to get much worse. .
“The government has the perfect opportunity to lead transformational change in this vital industry in a way that will benefit the UK economy as a whole.
If the issue is not urgently addressed, within 12 months the 45,000 driver shortfall we are currently experiencing will increase to 60,000. The bottom line is that if the UK doesn’t have enough people able to drive the trucks that keep the economy moving, the economy will not be going anywhere.”