Haulage firms facing driver shortage

The
haulage industry is facing a driver shortage because people fed up with
congestion and jams are leaving the industry, according to a report released by
Lex Transfleet.

Their
survey found the 35 per cent of drivers will have left the industry or retired
by 2007, and few young people are interested in joining the sector.

The
report said that while drivers like the freedom of their job, they detest the
congestion and traffic jams which are now common place, and some say long hours
and a lack of money are forcing them to look at leaving the industry.

This
situation is causing the freight industry huge skills shortages and recruitment
problems. When combined with the forthcoming EU Working Time Directive, which
will restrict truck drivers’ hours, the problem is in danger of bringing the
entire industry to its knees, the report said, and this could have a negative
impact on the UK economy.

In
all, 71 per cent of transport fleet managers have concerns about skill
shortages, and 57 per cent of fleet managers have encountered difficulties
recruiting drivers.

Lex
Transfleet, which manages almost 30,000 commercial vehicles and supplies
drivers on behalf of its customers, has launched several initiatives, including
a programme to recruit younger drivers and developing mature driver training
programmes.

By Quentin Reade

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