UK drivers need to pick up speed or Britain could face empty shelves
03 November 2011
Britain's truck drivers are falling behind schedule to meet the
professional training requirements required by EU directive 2003/59
that has been introduced to develop and maintain high driving
standards and improve road safety.
On 18th October 2011, key industry leaders and
training providers heard that unless the UK's more than 400,000
freight drivers pick up momentum on the mandatory Driver CPC
training, Britain may be facing a gap of 30% fewer drivers when the
first five year cycle completes in September 2014.
And this, combined with an aging driving population and
alarmingly few younger Britons choosing the transport sector for
their career path, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers may be
facing a transportation crisis.
Despite some drivers speculating that the Driver CPC requirement
may be retracted, this is far from the government's plans. The
regulation is here to stay as a platform for making the freight and
transport industry a more appealing, career option for future
generations and to progressively demonstrate the high standards of
professionalism within the industry.
The Driver CPC requires that 35 hours of training are undertaken
periodically over five years by September 2014, and now two years
into the process it is looking like significant numbers of drivers,
key to the economic health of our nation, will struggle to meet
these legal requirements.
Mike Penning MP, The
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport,
expressed his concerns about the image of driving as a profession
and the shortage of younger drivers in the workforce. He was very
clear in his message about the future of the Driver CPC saying
"There are concerns regarding the age profile of drivers. We want
to work together and get drivers fit for what they do, and
encourage young people to the profession. This skills shortage
needs to be addressed and the Driver CPC is an important part of
this. He concluded, "I want to be very clear, the Driver CPC is
here to stay - It is not going anywhere and there will not be an
Dr Mick Jackson, Chief Executive, Skills for
Logistics, said "The UK transport industry faces an
increasingly global context for business with goods arriving
through a very long supply chain often starting in Asia or South
America. The projection for Driver CPC training shows that unless
our operators change the speed with which they are training their
drivers, the UK will face a fall in drivers by 30% by 2014."