HGV driver shortage set to worsen amid mass exodus of drivers over conditions

Over the next three years, over 25% of lorry drivers are set to leave the industry according to the largest ever survey of HGV drivers by Pertemps.

In total, 24% said it was unlikely they would still be driving in three years’ time, with 68% of those saying it was down to poor conditions of life as a lorry driver.

“I literally was bowled over by the starkness of how these people feel,” said John Poliquin, Director of Pertemps Driving Academy.

“Yes, I’ve always understood money, salary and earnings potential would be up there as a high point, but the other findings about how they are going to stay in the industry, how they are going to feel valued, those stats were shocking.

In all, 92% said they did not feel their role was valued enough by the general public and 69% disagreed that pay and conditions were good.

Lisa Thurkettle, Managing Director at Pertemps, said: “I am disappointed that 20% of the surveyed drivers no longer work in the industry and what a wasted opportunity that is.

“Out of that, only a small proportion of them might be retired. You look at that and think, well that’s a big cohort of individuals that have that skill and ability and are choosing not to do that job anymore, and if we all did something differently could we have retained them?

“So, I think that’s something I’m disappointed to see and I think I want to really work hard at seeing what we can all do differently to retain that skillset.

“What was really interesting was that 93% of the individuals surveyed came from a white ethnic background, which clearly identifies that we are underrepresented in other groups. Not just from ethnic backgrounds, but also females, and I think there needs to be a lot more work done to make sure that every group is fairly represented.

The survey was conducted with 2,522 HGV licence holders in August and September 2021