Driver shortage update – Developments this week - 12/08/2021

The skills shortage in the sector remains a priority for members and Logistics UK continues to apply pressure for Government action. Following a meeting of our Employment Action Group we have renewed our call for Government to allow a temporary work visa for qualified EU nationals, to help alleviate the short-term pressure on the industry, and have engaged with the Migration Advisory Committee to stress the need for action on this issue.

 

On funding for training, the new C+E apprenticeship is now live with an increased funding band of £7,000. In addition, we have spoken with Treasury, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Education (DfE), and the media to call for the prolongation of the £3,000 bonus for recruiting apprentices, which is currently due to expire at the end of September.  We have also been supporting the Institute of Apprenticeships on the development of a new ‘urban driver’ proposal, which would replace the category C apprenticeship. Should it be approved, we are hoping that this will be introduced as rapidly as possible.

 

In order to provide practical advice and guidance for members, we have published a Funding and support for accessing logistics skills guide to accompany our recent skills funding webinar with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and DfE (see below). This is available on the Skills and Employment Advice Hub. Finally, we will be responding on the consultation for reforms of driver licence acquisition, which have been published this week (see below).

 

Logistics UK members wanting to know more about driver shortage and skills issues, please visit the Skills and Employment Advice Hub or join the Employment Action Group by contacting your local membership relations manager.

 

Employers’ guide to funding and support for accessing logistics skills

 

Yesterday (10 August), Logistics UK launched a comprehensive, free guide for employers from across the sector on Funding and support for accessing logistics skills. This has been designed to help with the acute issue in recruitment and retention of roles across our industry, including HGV drivers, by setting out in an accessible way how to access vital funding in order to recruit and train new workers. This new guide, produced with the active involvement of the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions, gives clear and concise information about the schemes available to employers and where and how to apply for funding, including for apprenticeships and traineeships, to attract and train new employees.

A free copy of the guide can be downloaded here.

 

Consultation on vocational testing

 

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a consultation examining proposals to reform the processes of acquiring a vocational driving licence.  The consultation includes three key proposals:

 

·      The removal of staged vocational testing – meaning a driver who holds a category B licence could take the category C+E test without first taking the category C test.

·      Allow driving test centres to examine the reversing manoeuvre.

·      Removal of the requirement to take the category B+E to tow a trailer on a car.

 

All proposals are intended to free up capacity in the vocational testing market with the hope that this will allow more new vocational drivers to access the profession more quickly.

 

The consultation runs until 7 September 2021 and can be found here. Logistics UK will be responding on behalf of members based on feedback from Freight Councils.

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