FTA disappointed at driver training rejection

15th July 2015

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has highlighted its disappointment regarding the government's rejection of industry proposals to tackle the nation's ongoing professional driver crisis.

After putting forward an industry-led scheme to deliver much-needed funding and support for the training of new personnel, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has stated it will not be pursuing such plans in the future.

The move comes as a blow to hauliers across the length and breadth of the nation, as companies are continuing to cry out for more new drivers to help to fulfil the ongoing high level of demand for transport services.

FTA skills development manager Sally Gilson commented: "If government is rejecting driver apprenticeships then what alternative funding will it be providing?

"The freight and logistics sector has a major shortage of drivers with companies desperate to fill vacancies and professionalise the role. FTA urges BIS to rethink its decision and work with industry to find a solution as a matter of urgency."

She added that the organisation is "desperately disappointed" by this latest decision.

Looking forward, the FTA is worried that forthright action will not now come in the near future to address the skills shortage that is being witnessed across the logistics profession.

With the average age of professional drivers in the UK currently standing at 52, time is running out to support the introduction of more young drivers into the sector before it is too late.