The number of temporary workers taking delivery driver jobs has fallen by more than a quarter, according to new research from Indeed Flex.
It suggests that many have returned back to their pre-pandemic jobs in retail and hospitality but comes at a time when driver demand is soaring, up 15.6% as delivery sector employers wrestle with ‘pingdemic’ staff shortages.
Comedians Jason Manford and Johnny Vegas were among those who took a temporary delivery driver role during the pandemic, Manford working for Iceland and Vegas for Asda.
But the Indeed Flex data shows the number of temporary drivers available for work in June was 28.8% down on its March level, with many opting for shifts in the hospitality and retail sectors instead. During the same period, which saw the gradual easing of lockdowns across the UK, the number of delivery shifts needing to be filled rose by 15.6%.
Indeed Flex’s data reveals the shortage of delivery drivers is most acute in Edinburgh, where driver numbers tumbled by 54% between March and June while the number of available shifts posted by employers spiked by 131%. In London, the number of available drivers declined by 14% while shifts were up 53%.
By contrast, employers in the Midlands should have an easier time finding drivers as the number of available drivers there is up 38% while shifts are down 20%.
Jack Beaman, CEO and co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “The logistics sector stepped up admirably last year, keeping millions of locked-down Britons supplied with food and essentials. The surging demand for delivery drivers also proved a lifeline for many people whose jobs in hospitality, tourism or high street retail came to an abrupt end. “Now as lockdown restrictions ease and many of the temporary drivers who kept Britain moving in its time of need are boomeranging back to their old jobs.
“The trend is happening at the worst possible time for logistics businesses who are simultaneously grappling with the post-Brexit shortage of drivers and a ‘pingdemic’ which is forcing many staff to stay off work to isolate at home. The news is better for those looking for temporary work as a driver. They’re in the driving seat like never before; as flexible workers with an in-demand skill, they can pick and choose the shifts that suit them best.”