HGV driver recruitment campaign and Future of Freight plan unveiled

Lorry driver behind the wheel

More people will be encouraged into skilled, logistics jobs through a major new Government-backed campaign launched today (Wednesday, June 15).

The campaign is one part of the Government’s Future of Freight plan, also published today, which lays out a strategy for the Government and industry to work more closely together to deliver a world-class, seamless flow of freight across the UK’s roads, railways, seas, skies and canals.  

The Generation Logistics campaign, led by Logistics UK, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and backed by £345,000 Government funding, includes an online hub offering careers advice and guidance, features, video content, jobs and news.

The campaign will be backed by TV and radio adverts to help to attract candidates.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps says that the pandemic “shone a spotlight” on the importance of the country’s fleet sector.

“We are committed to working closely with the industry to attract a strong pipeline of talent, decarbonise the freight network, and deliver a world-class haulage sector,” he added. 

The strategy includes £7 million investment to boost the uptake of new technology, helping decarbonise and digitalise the sector.

Funding, says the Department for Transport (DfT), could go towards initiatives like trialling hydrogen cranes to support decarbonisation or testing low carbon fuels across the industry. 

Phil Roe, president of Logistics UK, said: “Generation Logistics will provide our industry with the capability to attract and retain the skilled and ambitious workforce which it needs as our role in society continues to flourish.

“After the recognition of our workforce as key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is critical that we protect and enhance our talent pool to keep our sector developing and thriving to support all sectors of the economy.

“Generation Logistics will give us the opportunity to do just that, by attracting and retaining the very best talent from across the country.”

Future of Freight plan

The Future of Freight plan explains how a national freight network will be explored to help remove any existing barriers faced by the sector which prevent it from delivering a seamless flow of goods across the country.  

A call for evidence will also be launched to better understand how the sector can more easily approach planning applications, so there are fewer obstacles to creating bigger warehouses to meet customer demand, introducing more HGV parking or improving driver facilities.   

In a further bid to decarbonise the sector, a freight energy forum led by both Government and industry will be set up to help create a clear path to net zero and to assess the freight sector’s future energy and fuel needs.  

Saul Resnick, CEO of DHL Supply Chain UK and Ireland, said: “As we look to the future, bringing new talent into the workforce will be essential to help the UK achieve its ambitions in the sector, whether that's building a robust and resilient supply chain or the path to net zero.

“As a global business, DHL Supply Chain is making significant investments to support both recruitment and retention across the workforce, and the development of clean technologies. We look forward to working alongside the Government on this and other initiatives." 

Government action to tackle the shortage of drivers has included making 11,000 HGV driver training places available through Skills Bootcamps, increasing the number of HGV driver tests available, and investing £52.5m in improvements in road side facilities and lorry parking.  

New HGV drivers are taking and passing their driving test in record numbers. Between March 2022 and May 2022 DVSA carried out 29,384 HGV tests – 54% more than the corresponding period in 2019 before the pandemic.

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