National HGV driver shortage
There is a currently a national shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers and this is affecting organisations, including ours, that rely on specialist drivers with the relevant licences.
This, added to COVID-19-related staffing shortages, is affecting bin collections.
The reasons for the driver shortage include:
- National training was halted from April 2020 to March 2021 due to COVID-19
- Many EU nationals have returned to their countries of origin
- There has been increased competition for drivers from logistics companies
- Drivers are often older and many are approaching retirement
- There have been tax changes for drivers who are or were self-employed
- Changes to visas mean non-UK Drivers may not be able to access UK HGV driver jobs.
There are various things being done to try and improve the situation, including:
- The haulage industry lobbying the Government to add HGV drivers to the ‘shortage occupations’ list
- The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) are working with the government to highlight the issue
- Our waste and recycling contractors Biffa are looking at options to attract drivers
- Biffa's drivers and crews have worked overtime on some Saturdays to catch up missed rounds.