Metcalfe driver training addresses the UK truck driver shortage and the future of the heavy goods vehicle industry

Heavy and light truck driver training

Andrew Metcalfe, Owner Metcalfe Driver Trainingsheds light on the current state of the trucking industry, the challenges it faces and the promising future ahead.

“The transport industry is the backbone of our economy and the recent truck driver shortage has undeniably affected businesses and the general public,” says Andrew Metcalfe. “Factors such as the pandemic, an aging workforce and the changing perception of truck driving as a career have played a role. However, the latest findings indicate a brighter horizon.”

RRecent reports suggest that demand for heavy goods vehicles in the UK increased by 17.1% in the first quarter of 2023, marking the best start to the year for heavy goods vehicle registrations since 2019. “This increase in registrations, particularly for rigid and articulated goods vehicles vehicles, is testament to the industry’s resilience and adaptability,” comments Metcalfe.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the increase in HGV registrations offers hope. “The increase in registrations can potentially alleviate the ongoing driver shortage, particularly by providing opportunities for underrepresented groups,” says Metcalfe. “The trucking community has long recognized the need for diversity. With it being difficult for younger riders to gain experience and many women feeling insecure, it is clear that more needs to be done.”

In response to the shortage, the British government took significant action. “Investment in HGV Skills Bootcamps, improved road facilities and support for initiatives such as Veterans into Logistics are commendable,” says Metclafe. “Such efforts have already produced results, with truck driver employment seeing a significant increase in early 2022.”

Metcalfe also emphasizes the importance of diversity in the industry. “A diverse workforce brings different perspectives and experiences. Companies need to invest in training, foster an inclusive culture and actively reach out to underrepresented groups,” he suggests. “It’s not just about filling vacancies; it’s about creating a positive, inclusive environment for everyone.”

On the topic of technology and the potential of driverless trucks, Andrew believes that while technology is moving forward, the role of the driver remains irreplaceable. “Driverless technology is still in its infancy, especially for heavy trucks. Even if autonomous trucks become a reality, drivers will always be necessary. Their role may evolve, but it won’t disappear.”

In March 2023, the UK still faces a shortage of 60,000 drivers. “It’s a challenge, but we’ve made progress. Just a year ago, we lacked 100,000 drivers. Thanks to the continued efforts of government and industry, we can bridge this gap,” Metcalfe concludes optimistically.

Owned by Andrew Metcalfe, Metcalfe’s Driver Training is dedicated to providing first class truck driver training, ensuring they are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed for the journey ahead.

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