Government publishes letter outlining plans to solve the HGV driver shortage


On the 20th of July 2021, the Government published a letter outlining their plans to solve the shortage of HGV drivers. This includes a package of measures to help address the shortage of hauliers.

This has been signed by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Secretary for Work & Pensions and finally the Secretary for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs.

The key points of the letter are outlined below:

  • Increasing the availability of HGV driver testing. The capacity has been increased from 1,150 passes pre- COVID to 1,500 at the current levels. The new target is 2000 successful passes per week.
  • The Department for Transport (DfT) will consult about the delegation of the off-road manoeuvres as part of the Heavy Goods Vehicle driving test, which would increase overall testing capacity.
  • The DfT will also consult about issuing provisional licence entitlements to drive articulated lorries at the same time as issuing provisional licence entitlements to drive rigid lorries.
  • A more efficient testing process longer term which will be easier to execute with the increased sovereignty over our decision-making that Brexit has provided.
  • The Government are reviewing the proposals for financial support made by industry sources to boost the supply of drivers.
  • Supporting lorry driving training in the context of apprenticeships, available from 2 August. This new version will be supported by an increased funding band of £7,000, and further support on offer includes the Department for Education’s current incentive payment to employers of £3,000 for every apprentice, of all ages, hired as a new employee from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is supporting returning to driving and helping jobseekers become HGV drivers where appropriate.
  • A short-term relaxation to drivers’ hours rules which provide haulage operators with increased flexibility to manage deliveries. The Government will be launching a targeted Call for Evidence to consider whether longer relaxations would be appropriate.

The letter, published here, concludes:

“We confirm support for an industry-led proposal for a Year of Logistics. We are committed to our officials together and with key other government departments meeting industry representatives, including Logistics UK, RHA and Unite on the labour shortage issues during the coming weeks.”

ISIS Insurance are established, independent HGV Insurance brokers.