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HGV drivers should be on UK Shortage Occupation list - RHA

Feb 22, 2020
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says more detail is needed on the UK government’s ‘Australian style’ points system for immigrants and the criteria for establishing the basis of ‘skilled’ work.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett The Association is extremely concerned that the ability to drive a heavy goods vehicle is not considered to be a skill. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” said RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett.

Richard continued, “Profit margins are so low that employers simply cannot afford to train new drivers. They need to employ those that are already qualified but with a 60,000 shortfall this is impossible.”

Since its inception in 2017, hauliers have invested £320 million into the Apprenticeship Levy yet only £20 million has been withdrawn.

“It’s a triple whammy,” said Richard, “We’re not getting the money to train new drivers, the driver shortage isn’t recognised and now we’re being told that operators can’t employ immigrants to fill staff rotas.”

“For years we have been talking to the Home Office about getting the HGV driver skills shortage added to the UK Shortage Occupation list that includes all of the occupations that currently have a skills deficit. With a shortfall of approximately 60,000 drivers, we are of the firm opinion that this industry should certainly be near, if not top of the list.”

Some of the more surprising occupations that are currently on the government’s list of shortages include artists, dancers, classical musicians, graphic designers and chefs who earn more than £29,570 per year after deductions for accommodation, meals, etc.

Photo: Richard Burnett

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