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From September of this year (2013) all bus and coach drivers will be required to have completed Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) training in order to continue driving professionally. Lorry drivers will be also included from September 2014. Unfortunately, a number of sources report that as many as 25% of the UK’s professional drivers will retire or find a new line of work rather than completing the training.

At the heart of the issue appears to be the cost, which could run as high as £1750 in some cases. Recent surveys suggest that just over 8% of current drivers have already made plans not to complete the training, with more than 40% citing cost as the main reason. Should the statistics bear out then the transport and logistics industries will suffer greatly.

Surveys also suggest that nearly 20% of the nation’s professional drivers are already over the age of 56, making retirement close enough that most will not bother investing in training. The only way to combat the expected shortage of drivers is to ramp up recruiting efforts among logistics companies and driver training centres.

Other Ideas Being Explored

In order to head off the potential shortage of drivers, industry experts are looking at plenty of options. One of those options is to seek financial assistance from government sources for those drivers who cannot afford CPC training. The financial assistance could come in the form of temporary loans, tuition subsidies, or completely free training based on financial need. How likely the government is to step up and help remains unclear.

One of the other avenues being explored is to find ways to make professional driving a more appealing career choice among young people. For decades, professional driving has been seen as only for the uneducated and not worth it either professionally or financially. Industry insiders say that this needs to change in order to recruit younger drivers and to reflect the truth more accurately. Professional drivers earn a good living while providing a valuable service to the UK economy.

If the truth be known, the trucking industry is the backbone of the UK economy just as it is in so many other countries. Goods are transported from various seaports all across the country on the backs of trucks, without which the country would virtually shut down.

The nation’s public transport system is also heavily dependent on professional drivers operating coaches and buses. Without a solid public transport system, UK families would have to rely on personal vehicles, which would drive up fuel prices, increase commute times, and put further strain on a recession-dampened country.

No matter how you look at it, the new regulations could not have come at a worse time for UK industry. However, they are what they are. Companies like The HGV Training Centre are doing everything we can to make sure drivers who want CPC training can get it as soon as they need it. Hopefully we can help avert a driver shortage to keep UK’s goods and passengers moving.


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