Department for Transport written question – answered on 28th September 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the number of HGV drivers in the UK; and what steps she is taking to address any shortages of those drivers.
The Office for National Statistics Annual Population Survey estimates that the number of HGV drivers in the twelve-month period ending March 2022 was 262,700, this is up from 253,200 in the twelve-month period ending December 2021. ONS have identified and are investigating an issue in the classification of some occupations in its statistics. While investigations are still ongoing, it is not anticipated that figures of HGV/LGV drivers will be significantly impacted.
In response the Government has taken decisive action to address the HGV driver shortage putting in place 33 short, medium and long-term interventions to date to help alleviate the existing HGV driver shortages. These interventions include investing up to £34 million to create skills bootcamps to train up to 11,000 more people to become HGV drivers. We are also supporting HGV driver training through apprenticeships, including the Large Goods Vehicle Driver and Urban Driver apprenticeships. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Jobcentre Plus are also supporting returning to driving and helping jobseekers become HGV drivers where appropriate.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has expanded HGV driver testing capacity and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has improved licencing processes in order to help get these new drivers on the road.
The Government continues to have positive engagement with the sector who report that the 33 measures are working.
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