The Prime Minister’s proposed civil service recruitment freeze could see the UK’s HGV driver shortage escalate if staff managing the backlog of driver testing cannot be recruited, according to Logistics UK. The leading business group is also warning that road safety could be compromised if planned resourcing for heavy vehicle checks is halted, as Logistics UK’s Head of Road Freight Regulation Policy, James Firth, comments:
“The suggested Whitehall-wide recruitment freeze would have a significant impact on the delivery of vital government services such as driver licensing applications, heavy vehicle safety checks and HGV driver testing. Logistics businesses have reported continued difficulties in accessing HGV annual safety tests and, with a shortage of qualified drivers continuing across industry, it is crucial that this freeze does not compromise the safety of road users nor disrupt the supply chain by reducing the availability of drivers.
“DVSA, DVLA and other government agencies have vacancies that have already been budgeted for, the funding for which is not coming from general taxation, but from the fees that industry pays. Logistics UK is seeking reassurance that agencies delivering critical safety services funded by industry will be protected from any blanket Whitehall recruitment freeze. Logistics UK will be writing to Ministers in the coming days to urge government to consult with industry before making any decision to ensure minimal impact to industry and to the wider supply chain.”