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Driver Shortage And Empty Shelves This Summer

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Driver Shortage And Empty Shelves This Summer Staff
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As pandemic restrictions ease down, the United Kingdom is still in dire need of new HGV drivers and the shortage remains an issue as the reduction in numbers of HGV drivers continues.

Even though the situation in 2022 hasn’t yet reached the scale of the 2020 and 2021 shortages. How can we prevent having empty store shelves this summer?

HGV Driver Shortages – What Is Causing Them?

There are three main reasons that are causing the current HGV Driver shortage: Brexit, the pandemic, and driver retirement. The combination of all of these factors created a lot of disturbance on the UK’s market, hurting all industries that relied on regular deliveries of goods.


Opinions on whether Brexit was a good decision or not are still heavily split, with more and more UK citizens voicing their disapproval every year. Nevertheless, Brexit has undeniably caused a lot of turmoil for HGV drivers, with many EU drivers avoiding work in the UK altogether. Those who previously considered work in the UK to be a great opportunity now find themselves doubting its prospects and their job security.

The Pandemic

With less foreign contractors, the UK had to rely on local drivers – many of whom were unable to return home because of lockdown restrictions. The restrictions also severely reduced the nationwide capacity for training new drivers, with less than half of licences being issued when compared to 2019.

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HGV Drivers Retiring

Finally, more and more drivers reach retirement with each year. With aspiring drivers having difficulty getting their licences, the total number of available drivers is decreasing, causing more and more problems and product shortages.

Even though the situation seems to be slowly improving, the issues are still very real and deeply affect many industries to this day. Let’s inspect what could happen if the problems are not addressed.

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Is The UK Facing Empty Store Shelves Again This Summer?

Hold-ups are still a common thing in the UK, and experts warn the problems might last as long as 2023.Retailers are still struggling to keep up with the demands, and many stores keep empty shelves in wait for deliveries. The situation isn’t as severe as in 2020, when many people hoarded supplies expecting the worst, but many goods are unavailable or face severe availability delays.

Fortunately, recruitment initiatives have started to show a return on investment already. The reduction in HGV drivers has slowed in 2022, with new drivers having many new opportunities for training course funding and finding employment.

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Is The Lack Of HGV Drivers Being Addressed?

Since 2021, the government has introduced some improvements that made being an HGV driver a more secure and flexible career choice. Drivers can now have more flexible working hours, and more than a hundred thousands of job offers are available for drivers to apply to.

Becoming an HGV driver is now much easier and faster than at the start of the pandemic. Certified HGV training institutions like Easy as HGV offer high-quality courses and high passing rates, professional support at every step of the journey, and, on top of that, help writing an effective CV and finding work after passing.

We might see a positive turn in HGV driver shortage soon – professional drivers with multiple licences can now earn over £40,000 every year, which definitely helps attract new drivers. Combined with various government incentives, a career as an HGV driver seems more and more enticing.

Featured Image: Supplied by the author
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