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SfL reports three year high for vacant HGV driving jobs

By: William Hobson
25 November 2010

Vacancies in driving jobs for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) have hit a three-year high this October, reports Skills for Logistics (SfL).

Road Transport reports that SfL's latest figures have shown unfilled HGV driver positions rose by some 130% between October 2010 and October 2009. This represents a rise from 11,041 to 25,720 this year - nearly three times the figure recorded when SfL's records began in October 2008 (8,747).

SfL has warned that logistics recruitment is likely to be fierce over the coming months when hiring drivers across both the HGV sector and other areas of logistics work. According to their figures, HGV positions are not the only logistics companies jobs that have seen a rise in vacancies.

Van driver vacancies have also risen steeply in this period though to a much lesser extent, from 7,000 in October 2009 to 10,193 this year.

These figures reflect a trend seen across all areas of the transport sector; overall vacancies in the industry are up 60% year-on-year, from 54,460 in 2009 to 87,422 this October.

Mike Jackson, chief executive of SfL, welcomed the increase which he says "obviously reflects a build up the Christmas peak". He believes the YoY increase in demand "looks like a heartening signal of growth in the economy."

"However [the figures] are also early danger signals of a possible return to the large scale shortages of the first half of the year," he said. Mr Jackson has urged operators to "carefully plan their driver requirements for 2011" and to consider their options for hiring drivers based in the UK to give younger employees a chance to improve their skills and driver training, rather than relying upon Eastern Europe as happened in the last shortage.



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