The wages of lorry drivers are rising faster than inflation. With a “drastic” shortage across the UK, members of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) report they are struggling to find and retain experienced, professional drivers in all sectors.

Based on a survey of its members last October, a new RHA report confirms that wages for truck drivers are increasing faster than inflation, with general staff pay rising by 2.75%, while C&E (artic) drivers are seeing their hourly wages go up by an average of 5.4%.

Uncertainty over Brexit has contributed to the shortage, RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett suggested.

Not only is it still not clear whether EU nationals will be able to continue working in the UK, he explained, but the devaluation of sterling has meant that wages here are now worth less to European staff.

Mr Burnett also took the opportunity to point out that the haulage sector has so far contributed more than £150 million into the Apprenticeship Levy scheme. To date, only about £10 million has been drawn down, he said — something that shows the system is not working.

Although the sector has been working through the Trailblazers apprenticeship system to develop training for new commercial drivers, take-up has been slow, he added, and it has been a challenge to develop apprenticeships that fit business models of many companies.

The RHA is, however, also participating in other initiatives, including the national charity Road to Logistics — a national training programme which aims to encourage new talent into the transport and logistics industry from sections of society where individuals need help and support.

More information about this scheme can be found at www.roadtologistics.org.

Last reviewed 1 February 2019