In the past three months, there has been a deficit of HDV (heavy-duty vehicle) drivers in the United Kingdom. According to the Road Haulage Association, Britain has a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers.
This has dealt a huge blow to the transport and distribution system of fuel and food products across the country. As a result, many fuel pumps have been left dry and supermarket shelves empty.
People have been thrown into a state of alarm, which is hard to miss in the crowds that fill the gas stations. The lives and businesses of thousands of people are now on hold. This has also contributed to the rise in misfuelling lately.
The British government, aiming to solve this nationwide distribution crisis, announced recently, urging anyone with an HDV driving license to get back on the road.
They also relaxed the country’s immigration rules and offered 3-month visas to skilled foreign HDV drivers as well as poultry workers, with the hope of convincing them to join the temporary nationwide distribution workforce in Britain.
However, the public and British business leaders firmly opposed this decision. According to The New York Times, the President of the British Chambers of Commerce, Ruby McGregor–Smith said “the decision of the British government is like throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire”.
Last month, in the heat of mounting pressure and in a bid to fast-track the resolution of this nationwide emergency, the government made another announcement for the extension of the recruitment and work duration of foreign drivers till 2022.
They also implored military drivers to help fix the nationwide supply-chain crisis.
How You Can Become Employed as a Van or Lorry Driver in the UK
If you’re looking to join the temporary workforce as a heavy-duty vehicle driver in the UK, you can apply through reputable driving companies. However, the application requirements differ per company. For instance, some companies do not require a CV to apply.
Generally, you have to be over 18 years old and have a professional driving qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). Asides from that, you must be medically examined and certified fit.
It’s easy to rent a van from a nationwide Van Hire company in the UK. All you need is your driver’s license and a credit or debit card.
For drivers dispensing food, fuel, and deliveries across the UK, haulage firms are offering up to £80,000, plus gratuities and benefits. Some other companies are offering €1,500 as a sign-up bonus and €35,000 a year.
Class 1 drivers will earn a fee of £23 per hour.
Drivers in training can make around £24,000 – £32,000 once they pass their training and qualify for their HDV licenses.
As it is, trucking companies are urging the government to ease immigration policies and aid the recruitment of more drivers from across Europe, but British ministers are kicking against it on the premise that British workers alone should be trained as truck drivers to bridge the gap.
While both parties go back and forth, inflation threatens to take an upsurge in the market, and the price of food and fuel will likely increase during the festive period.