The DVSA has launched a recruitment drive for 40 additional vocational driving examiners to help combat the ongoing driver shortage.
The Government unveiled a package of measures last month to help address the lorry driver shortage. It acknowledged that increasing the availability of vocational driving tests is key to this issue.
The additional examiners will enable DVSA to offer more lorry driving test appointments.
It has already increased the number of vocational driving tests from 2,000 a week pre-pandemic to 3,000.
Measures to maximise testing capacity, including consulting on plans to streamline the process for drivers to gain their heavy goods vehicle (HGV) licence, are already underway.
DVSA chief executive Loveday Ryder said: “We recognise the haulage industry keeps the wheels of our economy turning and have listened to its concerns about the current lorry driver shortage.
“We have responded by doing all we can to support the industry in tackling this issue through increasing lorry driver testing.
“This includes our latest campaign to recruit more vocational examiners so we can maximise our lorry testing capacity.”
The driver shortage is hitting crisis level in the UK, with demand increasing across supply chains as the country recovers from Covid-19 lockdown measures.
The pandemic has resulted in the loss of about 12 months of driver training and testing, while online retail averaged 28.1% of retail sales in 2020, according to Logistics UK, up from 19.2% in 2019.