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Large Goods Vehicle Drivers: Vacancies

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL3210, tabled on 19 October 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Statement by the Secretary of State for Transport on 18 October (HCWS311), what are the “25 proactive actions” that are being taken to address the shortage of HGV drivers.

Answered on

28 October 2021

The 25 proactive actions are:

To increase efficiency in existing supply chains.

1.Temporary extension of drivers’ hours to allow short-term extra flexibility to the industry.

2. Relaxation of late-night delivery restrictions to supermarkets, food retailers, and distribution centres in England providing greater operational flexibility.

3. 4,700 HGV drivers were added to the existing visa scheme to help food industries with driver shortages during exceptional circumstances this year. Up to an additional 300 fuel drivers are also being allowed to come to the UK immediately through a separate scheme.

4. Opened consultation on increasing cabotage for foreign hauliers in the UK to make their trips more efficient.

To support and train new HGV drivers.

5. Department for Education is investing up to £10 million to create new skills bootcamps to train up to 5,000 more people to become HGV drivers.

6. New £7,000 Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeships launched 1 August 2021.

7. Expansion of DWP driver training pilot delivered through Jobcentre Plus to bring job-seekers into the industry.

8. Temporary incentive payment of £3,000 for employers taking on a new apprentice until 31 January 2022.

9. Accelerated development of new Urban Driver Apprenticeship for Category C driving.

10. DfT provided grant funding to Road to Logistics (a national, not for profit, logistics training organisation) which is working with the Welsh Government and HM Prison Service to train ex-offenders to drive lorries as well as supporting the Jobcentre Plus pilot.

11. Additional Government funding for both medical and HGV licences for any adult who completes an HGV driving qualification accessed through the Adult Education Budget in academic year 2021/22.

12. DfT provided grant funding to Think Logistics which, with Career Ready, is working to attract young people to the profession.

To expand HGV driver testing capacity and improving licencing processes.

13. DVSA has increased the number of HGV vocational driving tests by 90% compared to pre-pandemic levels through measures including overtime and allocating additional employees into testing, alongside the recently introduced capacity from Defence Driving Examiners.

14. Regulatory changes on trailer towing test requirements, staging of HGV tests and reversing manoeuvres to increase the number of HGV tests following consultation and the entry into force of new legislation.

15. Recruitment campaign launched 16 August for 40 new vocational examiners.

16. The MOD is providing Defence Driving Examiners to be trained and redeployed to conduct civilian tests with the DVSA until the end of the year.

17. New legislation to allow delegated driving examiners at the three emergency services and the MOD to be able to conduct driving tests for one another.

18. DVLA operational prioritisation to process provisional HGV driving licences has reduced processing time to around five working days. Most drivers applying to renew their HGV licence can continue driving while their application is being processed.

To attracting drivers back to the sector and improving conditions.

19. Public messaging and direct letters to existing HGV licence holders not driving professionally (i.e. those who do not hold a Driver CPC card) to encourage them to consider returning to HGV driving.

20. Support for industry-led communications efforts to promote and improve the image of the sector including an industry-led proposal for Year of Logistics, the promotion of good practice and an International Road Transport Union’s driver charter.

21. A review of lorry parking and facilities.

22. Flexible support funding for job seekers and those on Universal Credit who hold an HGV licence towards the costs of obtaining Driver Certificates of Professional Competence required for most professional lorry or bus driving.

To address the interruptions to fuel supplies.

23. Extension of ADR (Dangerous Goods) licence validity for those expiring between 27 September 2021 and 31 December 2021 until 31 January 2022, providing immediate relief to the shortage of fuel drivers by permitting affected drivers to maximise their available capacity instead of being taken out of circulation for refresher training purposes.

24. Targeted communications to ADR licence holders through the Training Advisory Panel Secretariat to make ADR members aware of the extension to ADR licences validity periods and to encourage their members and all ADR driver training providers to increase their capacity for providing the full initial ADR driver training courses.

25. Military tanker drivers have been mobilised to assist in fuel deliveries.