Earlier this month, Richard visited Andersons Transport in Moggerhanger. Richard met with Director, David Anderson and representatives from the Road Haulage Association to discuss issues currently facing hauliers.
Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire, said:
One of the biggest and most longstanding hurdles facing the haulage sector is a labour shortage and I welcome the range of steps that Ministers are taking to best mitigate against these.
Driver testing was suspended during the lockdown so I welcome that testing has now restarted and DVSA is making available 3,000 slots per week for vocational tests. This is double the number of LGV tests normally conducted each week before the pandemic.
A temporary extension of drivers' working hours from nine to ten hours has also been introduced, giving flexibility to drivers and operators to make slightly longer journeys.
The Government is also working with the industry to address historic labour shortages in the road freight sector, supporting the development and training of more HGV drivers through apprenticeships, There is currently an apprenticeship standard available that includes the acquisition of a Category C licence and attracts £5,000 in apprenticeship levy funding. This will be replaced in August with an apprenticeship for a Category C+E licence which will attract £7,000 in funding. The apprenticeships are available to people of any age who are seeking to retrain. For more information, please visit this page.
The Department for Work and Pensions is also developing a scheme to train jobseekers in HGV driving. The Flexible Support Fund is available to help the unemployed or those in receipt of Universal Credit renew their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
The Department for Transport has also provided a grant for the non-profit initiative Road to Logistics to train military service leavers, ex-offenders and the long term unemployed to move into jobs in the logistics sector, including lorry driving.