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Driver shortage to worsen as licence holders look to leave the sector, survey reveals


Nearly a quarter of lorry drivers expect to leave the industry in the next three years, according to the largest ever survey of HGV drivers.
The Pertemps survey of more than 2,500 existing HGV licence holders showed that drivers are increasingly disillusioned -with almost a quarter (24%) saying that it was unlikely they would still be driving in three years’ time. 68% of those blamed the poor conditions of life as a lorry driver.

“I literally was bowled over by the starkness of how these people feel,” said John Poliquin, director of Pertemps Driving Academy. “I think it’s important to put it out there to people, employers and the public and try and prick people’s conscious to say, value these people for what they do and have done all through the pandemic. There has to be that level of respect, that level of professionalism and we need to show the value that they have to us as a business, with our clients, with our consultants and within the greater network.”

Half of those interviewed for the Pertemps HGV Driver Wants and Needs survey said they had always wanted to be a truck driver, but 22% of those were no longer working in driving roles, highlighting a “leaky pipeline” in the supply of qualified drivers.

Drivers pointed out the disconnect between signs at the front of stores saying that they won’t tolerate abuse to staff while, in the delivery bay at the back, they are treated poorly by the client. In all, 92% said their role wasn’t valued enough by the general public and 69% blamed poor pay and conditions.

The survey was conducted with 2,522 HGV licence holders in August and September 2021. As part of the project, diary studies and in-depth interviews were completed with 10 drivers to better understand motivators and mindsets.

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