Insurers and hauliers can work together
The UK haulage industry is currently experiencing a serious shortage of drivers. It is estimated that the current shortfall is around 60,000 and is estimated to increase to 257,000 by 2022.
On average for every one qualified driver there are nine job vacancies.
There are a number of reasons for this shortage, including the poor perception of the industry as a career choice, the pay gap compared to other skilled occupations (trade union Unite has claimed that there is no minimum pay standard and starting salaries are often low) and the unsociable nature of the job, which takes drivers away from their families for prolonged periods.
There are also issues around driver stress due to pressures to make time-critical journeys and deal with increasing road congestion. And there is the issue of welfare on the road, with drivers struggling to find toilet and washing facilities and decent places to take their rest breaks.
The cost of qualifying as an HGV driver, which on average is around £3000, can be prohibitive to many. Many drivers choose bus and coach driving, where employers are able to fund licence acquisition and training.
The insurance industry recognises the difficulties hauliers face in these challenging times and are adapting their offerings to help support clients.
These ideas and enhancements help attract new drivers and also retain and enhance the existing workforce. Engage an insurer/broker partnership that can provide:
- Behavioural-based driver training programmes that focus on the driver well-being and safety. They ensure that each individual driver feels supported in making decisions that put their safety and the safety of other road users first. In addition, they also provide a way of upskilling drivers who are not performing to company driving standards, as the traditional three strikes rule to accidents is not practical in this time of driver shortages.
- Underwriting and premiums that are linked to telematics. The use of telematics is widespread within the haulage industry and many Insurers now offer bursaries, training and more lenient terms that allow companies to attract and employ younger drivers. Telematics can be used to encourage safer driving behaviours that can also lead to savings in fuel and maintenance spends.
- A health and well-being programme that not only provides regular health assessments for drivers but also educates them to take more interest in their own health and can nurture better lifestyle habits. Programmes such as these help maintain morale and therefore help retain drivers.
Road haulage is vital to the UK logistics industry and indeed to the UK economy and in order to increase the number of qualified haulage drivers we must look to new ideas and initiatives to make it a more attractive and rewarding career to the next generation.
This story was submitted by Fife Chamber member PIB Limited, for more details contact: