Wages for HGV drivers are increasing faster than inflation, according to the results of a Road Haulage Association survey conducted last October.
There remains a drastic shortage of HGV drivers in the UK and RHA members are increasingly reporting a struggle to find and keep experienced, professional drivers.
While the national results indicate a general pay increase of some 2.75%, the pay for C&E (artic) drivers has increased by 5.4%.
“Brexit uncertainty has contributed to the shortage,” RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said. “It is still not clear if EU nationals can continue to work in the UK – the devaluation of Sterling has meant our wages are worth less to European staff.
“The sector has been working through the Trailblazers apprenticeship system to develop training for new commercial drivers, and the RHA team provided a considerable amount of information to enable the Trailblazers sector group to write an additional three Level Two apprenticeships.
“However, as with many new apprenticeship standards, take-up has been slow and it has been a challenge to develop apprenticeships that fit business models of many companies – bureaucracy is a constant barrier to quick progress.
“The haulage sector has, to date, paid in over £150 million into the Apprenticeship Levy and, to date, has only drawn back in the region of £10 million. Proof, if proof were needed, that the system is not working.”
The RHA has engaged in other initiatives, such as the national charity Road to Logistics to try to tackle the HGV driver shortage, and has run a national competition to provide 20 new apprentice drivers to 20 small employers.