Resolving the HGV Crisis.

The HGV Driver Shortage Crisis: What’s Going on and How to Beat It

In the aftermath of the pandemic, it is crucial to acknowledge the effects that COVID-19 had on the economy. One particularly hard-hit sector is HGV and lorry drivers.

To become a qualified HGV driver, you must complete nine months of training on top of the test to obtain your HGV license. Currently, the sector is already behind on 25,000 tests. Compared to 2019, there were 43% fewer tests conducted in 2020, with 35% of these tests conducted before the lockdown (January to March). As a result of the pandemic, twelve months of driver training and testing went uncompleted.

This shortage could not have come at a worse time for the industry. When the March lockdown of 2020 came into full force, there was a massive growth in online shopping which put pressure on the existing HGV and lorry driver workforce. Though the pandemic is slowing down, the demand for purchase is only speeding up. 

As the hospitality sector reopened, there have been multiple reports from businesses about shortages in stock. For example, the popular food chain Nandos was forced to close 25 restaurants as the lack of drivers greatly affected their supply.

More recently, the UK entered a petrol shortage crisis towards the end of 2021 which saw petrol stations across the country running out of fuel. This scarcity was partly due to the HGV driver shortage, as the number of remaining employees could not keep up with the demand for petrol. To help with the crisis, the UK government offered 300 short-term visas for overseas visas, but only 127 drivers applied.

There have been various attempts to rectify the staffing crisis. One attempt was an increase to the HGV driver salary amount by £5000 annually. Another attempted solution was the temporary relaxation of the enforcement of retained EU drivers’ hours. Due to this ‘relaxation,’ drivers could choose to work ten hours instead of the previous limit of nine – but this was not a positive change.

Drivers already have an immense amount of pressure on them, so the resolution to this issue should not be to overwork them even further. When operating heavy goods vehicles, drivers must be well-rested enough to concentrate on long amounts of travel at a time, and overworking staff can only put them in danger. 

The best resolution to the issue of driver shortages is, without a doubt, recruitment

As the HGV driver shortage in the UK hits a crisis, innovative and effective recruitment campaigns have never been more needed.

Crunch can help you develop your strategic digital media campaigns to effectively target and engage the right applicants at the right time. 

If you are looking to hire HGV drivers, we would love to look at your current recruitment campaign and offer a free top-line review to guide you through the following:

  • Make you aware of the tools you can use to source and extract top talent ahead of your competitors.
  • Highlight the tactics you need to implement to discover candidates quickly who are actively searching for relevant jobs in real-time.
  • Give you tips to create winning data-driven and interactive campaigns to attract the required talent and capture it using programmatic and social campaigns. 

If you would like to talk with us to find out how we can help your HGV recruit more drivers, you can book a free quick chat here.

Meanwhile, why not browse our previous recruitment campaigns and see for yourself the success