Wages for HGV drivers are increasing faster than inflation, according to a new report from the RHA.

However, produced using data supplied by members in a survey during October 2018, the report appears to confirm there is still “a drastic shortage of HGV drivers in the UK”.

In addition, RHA members are increasingly struggling to find and keep experienced, professional drivers in all sectors.

While the national results indicate a general pay increase by member companies for staff of 2.75 per cent, the survey indicates the pay for C&E (artic) drivers increased hourly by 5.4 per cent.

RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett, said Brexit uncertainty has contributed to the shortage. “It is still not clear if EU nationals can continue to work in the UK – the devaluation of Sterling has meant our wages are worth less to European staff,” he said.

The sector has been working through the Trailblazers apprenticeship system to develop training for new commercial drivers.

The RHA provided “a considerable amount” of information to enable the Trailblazers sector group to write an additional three, level two apprenticeships.

“However, as with many new apprenticeship standards, take-up has been slow and it has been a challenge to develop apprenticeships that fit business models of many companies – bureaucracy is a constant barrier to quick progress,” Burnett said.

“The haulage sector has, to date, paid over £150 million into the Apprenticeship Levy, and to date has only drawn back in the region of £10 million. Proof, if proof were needed, that the system is not working,” he added.

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