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The debate over whether Brexit will affect the haulage industry is ongoing, and it’s just been thrown another curveball. Eastern European workers from countries like Poland, Romania and Bulgaria make up a large portion of the workforce currently driving for UK firms, and are essential at the moment to the smooth running of haulage in this country.

However, under the pressure of Brexit, the Pound’s fall has had a major impact on their wages once converted into their native currency, and has caused many Eastern European drivers to think twice about working in this country.

Crashing Pound Value

The Pound’s value is 1.12 Euros at the time of writing, according to Pound Sterling Live with economists warning it could drop even lower once Article 50 is invoked. According to the Express, UK haulage firms have reported that more and more Eastern European workers are choosing to quit their jobs working for British firms as they’ve seen their take-home pay slump as a result of the weakened Sterling, meaning that although their employers are paying them the same amount they were before, it’s now worth less in their home countries.

Driver Shortage

Right now, this could be a big problem. The haulage industry in the UK is already 35,000 drivers short according to a recent report by the Freight Transport Association, and companies were already desperately recruiting overseas drivers to plug the gap and help British companies to run smoothly. Around 60,000 Eastern European drivers are working for British firms at the moment, with some tempted over by generous offers. Some firms have even been offering a £100 reward to any of their international drivers for recruiting one of their fellow countrymen to come over and work in Britain.

The counter-argument is, of course, that if Eastern European drivers are converting their cash to send back home then it’s not directly benefiting the UK economy. This doesn’t address what an increasing shortage of drivers could do to the economy, without enough haulage professionals to distribute British companies’ goods. Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said at the Tory Party Conference that no foreign worker should take a job that a British national could do instead, but this doesn’t seem to be motivating British workers to take up these empty posts in the numbers needed.

The Stats On The HGV Driver Deficit

According to recent research by the FTA, HGV drivers in the UK are currently a dying breed, with almost 65 percent of British HGV drivers currently aged 45 or over, and just 2 percent of working age drivers aged under 25. The average age of a HGV driver is 48 years. Also, the jobs being vacated by Eastern European drivers can’t be filled by drivers who are currently unemployed, as the number of unemployed qualified drivers in the UK claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has dropped to just 530 – down from 15,255 in March 2009.

Just 20 percent of UK haulage companies in 2009 reported problems recruiting enough drivers, and this year that’s up to a massive 76 percent. The answer is clear; more British drivers need to train up and can take their pick of haulage jobs on offer. Promisingly, there has been an 11 percent uptake in apprenticeships in 2016 so far, with 5,470 people starting on their own programme as opposed to the previous year, but this is still significantly lower than the number of people who were taking apprenticeships in 2011/2012, with a 28 percent drop overall.

Catching up is happening, but it’s a slow process, and we’re likely to see difficult times ahead before the industry has enough trained drivers to catch up to demand. There were 36,615 drivers who got their DCPC qualification from April 2015 to March 2016, which was up on the previous year by an impressive 22 percent. On the issue of the age of upcoming drivers, it’s important to note the people taking their practical tests, 58 percent were under 35, and just over half the people who take their tests are passing them.

A Real Opportunity For New Drivers

The best thing you can do if you want to take advantage of this current situation and help the country to move forward, is to take your driving course and get qualified, which we can help you with.

We can help you with: –
● When should you take your training?
What is CPC card and how can you get it?
● What do you need for training?
● Can you train in other countries?
● What if you have a licence from a different country?
● How much training do you need to do?
● What sort of training you need – is it HGV training, PCV training or something else?
● What do you do if you miss your training deadline for any reason?
● Where is your nearest training centre?

We can help you with answers to all these questions and more, just take a look at our website and see our range of training courses so you can get started right away. You’ll benefit from our excellent pass rates and, best of all, you can start your HGV training for just £9.99, so what are you waiting for?

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