FTA Summit examines driver crisis efforts

16th March 2015

FTA Summit examines driver crisis efforts

The Freight Transport Association's (FTA) latest FTA Summit has highlighted the ongoing efforts to tackle the issue of a shortage of qualified professional drivers in the UK.

Held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry last week (March 12th), the event was attended by more than 700 representatives from across the UK haulage sector, with keynote addresses from the minister of state for employment Esther McVey and special advisor to chief secretary to the Treasury Peter Carroll.

Concerns have been raised over recent months regarding the long-term problems facing the recruitment of new professional drivers in the UK, with businesses across the country currently crying out for new staff.

Delivering a more attractive image for the industry in general to those just starting out in their careers is seen as one of the most important steps in tackling this problem for the long-term.

Ahead of the event, FTA managing director of policy and communications James Hookham stated: "The aim … is to help those operators who recognise they need to do more to recruit and retain drivers to learn from the experiences and practices of their peers.

"We have also provided guidance on the ways that government is helping and can support the industry in the future. There remains the longstanding task of improving the public's perception of the sector and convincing prospective employees that this is a good place to work."

With the show now wrapped up though, Will Shiers, editor of Commercial Motor – the FTA's official media partner for the Summit – said the industry needs to act quickly to address this major issue, as it is a problem that is only likely to get worse in the coming months if forthright steps are not soon taken.