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Last year at this time, everyone in the haulage industry was talking about CPC courses in anticipation of the rules that were to go into effect in September. This year, however, attention is turned to more pressing problems. Some are saying that the current HGV driver shortage could be severe enough to affect food supplies during the Easter holiday and busy summer season. The word ‘shortages’ is starting to be applied to food, although with some reservation.

According to the Daily Mail, some 20,000 drivers have left the haulage industry since the CPC deadline last year. Some have retired; others have left in search of new careers. The reasons matter little though. The reality remains that there are not enough students entering HGV training to make up for all those that have left. A gradually expanding economy is only making the driver shortage worse.

It was hoped in the weeks leading up to the 2015 budget announcement that the Government would commit millions of pounds to pay for training that would help address the 45,000-driver shortfall. However, last week’s announcement did very little to give any indication that money has been allocated. Instead, the industry was given a vague promise that the Government is working on the issue.

If there are food shortages later this year, what will they look like? It is not likely that shop shelves will be bare of essentials; there may be fewer non-essentials, and those goods that are available will inevitably cost more. Nevertheless, no one is expecting long food lines or rationing. That is little consolation to the grocery industry, however.

In a perfect world, the government would provide enough funding to at least make a significant dent in the current shortage. Then they would go on to address the problems that have led to it, including the implementation of the CPC requirements and the decades-old push to funnel all of our young people into university-based career paths. Nonetheless, this is not a perfect world. Right now, there isn’t a whole lot of movement that seems to indicate the Government’s commitment to ending the shortage.

The Good News

There is good news to speak of for anyone interested in becoming a professional HGV driver. To begin with, there is no shortage of available employment. Companies are desperate enough to hire drivers that they are increasing wages and adding extra benefit incentives. As a new worker, you are literally in the driver’s seat in multiple ways.

As far as CPC courses are concerned, those are included in every new driver’s standard training regimen. Once licenced and CPC certified, the certification is good for five years. New drivers will have to be recertified after taking 35 hours of classroom training some time in their fifth year. That cycle is repeated every five years.

If you have any questions about our training or CPC courses in general, contact the HGV Training Centre at your convenience.

Sources:

  1. Daily Mail – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2994731/Britain-brink-food-crisis-caused-shortage-lorry-drivers-lead-shelves-summer.html

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