REC survey reveals one-fifth of operators struggling to recruit HGV drivers for Christmas

Nearly one in five employers predict a shortage of permanent driving roles and 12% are concerned about a lack of agency drivers in the run-up to Christmas, according to latest figures.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s JobsOutlook tracking survey shows companies and agencies continue to struggle to find HGV drivers to fill positions at one of the busiest times of the year.

And according to one recruitment firm, the situation is predicted to worsen in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Mike Cooper, director at The Best Connection Group, said: “The real problems will come a little closer to Christmas, when the peak has suddenly become a short, sharp spike, rather than an elongated peak of past years. That’s where you will get a price war and people will pay anything to get vehicles on the road.”

The Road Haulage Association’s policy adviser on training, Steve Ellis, said members had reported that rates for agency drivers were increasing and he added: “More worrying is the suggestion that the quality is dropping as well. We need to do something about it.”