A recent Twitter poll undertaken by the Freight Transport Association asked females whether they would be willing to drive a 44-tonne truck, with the results showing that 79% of women polled would be willing to get behind the wheel of a HGV.
The poll follows recent figures that revealed that only 1% of truck drivers are female. Reacting to the poll, the FTA is now keen to explore why more women are not pursuing careers in the industry.
Only 2,200 of the 315,000 truck drivers in the UK are female, despite statistics showing that the gender balance is slowly improving. Statistics have also shown that more younger women are joining the industry, with 15% of women currently employed as truck drivers being between the ages of 21 and 25.
FTA skills policy development manager, Sally Gilson said: “These figures are encouraging as it is essential that more women are recruited – currently only one per cent of HGV drivers in the UK are female.
“We believe that one of the biggest barriers for would-be truck drivers is the cost of gaining a licence and training – around £3,000. FTA has been calling on Government to provide a suitable loan system. The current Personal Career Development Loan option is not appropriate and a simple change to allow Level 2 qualifications to be included within the 19+ loan would provide the quickest and best solution.”
The FTA Logistics Report showed that more than 64% of truck drivers are aged 45 or above. Encouraging more young people to enter into the profession is of vital importance to the industry, as well as solving the current shortfall of over 45,000 HGV drivers. This issue had been recently recognised in a Transport Select Committee report which used FTA statistics to relay difficulties faced by recruiters in the industry.