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Government publishes open letter to UK logistics sector: “We are here to help”
By Bobby Kelly, Independant Jounalist. Last edited at 16:54 20/07/21.
The UK Government has published an open letter to the logistics sector identifying driver shortages and a range of proposed measures to address the issue.
The Department for Transport (DfT) will “consult about the delegation of the off-road manoeuvres as part of the Heavy Goods Vehicle driving test, which would increase overall testing capacity”
“Consult about issuing provisional licence entitlements to drive articulated lorries at the same time as issuing provisional licence entitlements to drive rigid lorries. This would allow candidates to move directly to taking articulated lorry tests, without also having to pass a rigid lorry practical test.”
“For the short term we have announced a relaxation to drivers’ hours rules given the current urgent situation, this will provide haulage operators with increased flexibility to manage deliveries and alleviate some the pressures being experienced. We will be launching a short, targeted Call for Evidence to consider whether longer relaxations would be appropriate”
“The revised Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship standard, which will be available from 2 August. This new version will be supported by an increased funding band of £7,000, and further support on offer includes the Department for Education’s current incentive payment to employers of £3,000 for every apprentice, of all ages, hired as a new employee from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.”
“A DWP driver training pilot is underway, as part of the wider Road to Logistics scheme and we encourage industry to access their local jobcentre plus network.”
The letter also states “Large numbers of EU nationals have settled status or pre-settled status in the UK and continue to be an important part of the lorry driving workforce. But for the future workforce we will need to develop people resident in the UK as opposed to specifically providing visas for this group of workers.”
To view the open letter in full, go here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hgv-driver-shortage-letter-to-industry