“Operation full shelves” launched as HGV fund gets green light

A project to tackle a shortage of HGV drivers has been approved by the West of England Combined Authority led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris was responding to an estimated shortage of between 76,000 to 90,000 HGV drivers nationwide. The pandemic has meant 30,000 fewer HGV drivers taking tests on the previous year. But the problem has been made worse by Brexit. The UK is now a less attractive location for overseas drivers, due to increased bureaucracy at UK borders.

As part of a £5 million investment the project will work with local employers and training providers to deliver structured engagement, marketing and training to increase much needed recruitment into the sector. The plans could target up to 250 drivers over 24 months.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said “There are still empty shelves across our stores and last year we saw queues at the pumps thanks to an incompetent Tory Government who failed miserably to horizon scan. The shortage of HGV drivers has put pressure on supply chains, caused shortages of products and driven up prices contributing to the cost of living crisis we are all facing. I am pleased that the West of England Combined Authority, which I lead, has put in place this new scheme to try and address this shortage.”

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