The Garden of England has been a giant lorry park for much of June and July, causing varying degrees of frustration and misery for Kent's residents and businesses, as well as those who rely on the county's roads and motorways to get where they need to be – notably beleaguered HGV drivers.
The migrant problem that truck drivers bound for the UK are facing in Calais is nothing new and has been a problem for 15 years. With that being said there are now a combination of things that have elevated the problem to a whole new level.
Recruiters are predicting a 10% increase in driving staff demand while the sector continues to suffer a low availability of candidates.
The Chancellor’s surprise announcement in the Summer Budget to introduce a national living wage of £7.20 per hour for workers aged over 25 from next April is good news for both workers and employers.
The current driver shortage is now at a critical stage, it’s not getting any better and it’s not hard to see why. I am sure some HGV drivers will disagree but in my opinion it’s not about the wages as decent rates are currently being provided across the industry. I believe the issue is more likely linked to the way HGV drivers are perceived and treated and the poor image of the industry as a whole.