Should the Driver CPC be suspended? Or is there a better short-term solution?
The current shortage of HGV drivers has been attributed to various causes including Brexit, training and administration delays due to Covid, as well as the poor working conditions experienced by drivers when they are out on the road. All of these have contributed to an issue that has been building for a number of years. However, in my opinion, the introduction of the Driver CPC has also contributed considerably. It is a badly thought out, administratively complex requirement for employers and drivers and so while suspending it may help the ‘crisis’, the damage has already been done.
Driver CPC was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ as almost immediately upon its introduction, it caused literally thousands of drivers nearing retirement age to call it a day and retire. These were some of the best, most experienced drivers in the country and they have been discouraged from continuing to work into their later years by HM government.
It’s not the training itself that has created an issue for employers as professional businesses have always insisted on their drivers being well trained; it is key to ensuring accidents are rare, fuel economy is improved, and the overall business brand is well respected. However, introducing an extra cost, training burden and further administrative requirement has quite simply put many drivers off. Although I have to admit that the industry’s over reliance on agency drivers has meant that there are (or were) a lot of undervalued, under trained drivers that were already on the road to leaving the industry.
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