Mims Davies MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), met with business group Logistics UK and A.I.M Commercial Services Ltd – a national training provider for the logistics sector – at the haulage company’s site in Ripley, Derbyshire, to discuss how best to attract new recruits to the sector and help businesses across logistics to drive the economic recovery.
Speaking after the event, Mims Davies MP said: “The haulage sector faces a challenging time, which is why it’s vital we work together to address the barriers to recruitment, and to ensure there is a diverse pipeline of talent ready to take up these roles.
“I welcome the further talks with hauliers today, on top of the local engagement our JCPs are doing to assist people into this growing sector. I know via our network of Jobcentres we can greatly encourage more people to consider a career in the sector, and are already supporting them to develop the skills and experience needed to take these opportunities, including access to key training as part of our Plan for Jobs.”
Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager at Logistics UK, comments: “Logistics UK and its members are keen to identify the next generation of the workforce and are grateful to Minister Davies for her time and enthusiasm to find ways to help the sector overcome the recruitment challenges it currently faces. The sector has been finding it hard to attract new recruits for many years, a problem which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that there are potential employees out there.
“Encouraging new entrants into the profession is vital to solve this issue; we were so pleased Mims Davies MP met with Logistics UK and its member A.I.M Commercial Services Ltd, along with seven other logistics businesses, to discuss how government and industry can work together to overcome the barriers to recruitment and help raise awareness of HGV driving as an accessible and attractive career for all.”
At the start of the pandemic, there was a shortfall of at least 76,000 HGV drivers and with the additional loss of EU workers who have returned home, the industry estimates that this number is now higher than that.
Allison Kemp, Managing Director of A.I.M Commercial Services Ltd and Chair of Logistics UK’s Road Council, commented: “It was great to have the opportunity to meet the Minister today. I sincerely hope this meeting is another piece in the jigsaw to help find solutions for and finally resolve this long-standing shortage issue for our sector.”