Is the CPC creating a driver shortage?

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Fears are growing that the UK is going to face a severe shortage of drivers this autumn in 2014’s hectic pre-Christmas period. Summer has arrived, soon the September 2014 CPC deadline will be fast approaching and all LGV drivers without it will not be legally able to drive in the UK.

The CPC is made up of five modules which each take seven hours to complete and cost £40 per module. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) believes that the shortage of LGV drivers will be made worse by the deadline. The need for a CPC qualification, and the money and time it costs, could push part-time, foreign and semi-retired drivers out of the industry just when they are most desperately needed.

A report we conducted found that 7% of drivers do not intend to undertake Driver CPC training at all and thousands of existing drivers are leaving their CPC to the last minute. These drivers will find themselves unable to work legally and unemployable.

Foreign truck drivers who aren’t CPC trained when driving in the UK will face a £30 roadside penalty and UK drivers in the same position could even face a fine of up to £1,000 and possible points on their licence.

On top of that the existing driving workforce is also ageing significantly: 65% of current UK C and C+E licence holders are over 40; and only 11 per cent are in their 20s. Almost as many drivers are over sixty as under thirty. New entrants to the driving workforce have dropped from a record high of 48,227 in 2005 to a low of 25,000 in 2012 – almost a 50% fall.

Foreign drivers which have in the past been used to patch up the hole in the UK driver pool will be unable to start working in the UK before they have completed their CPC. New entrants into the industry will also have to complete it before they can begin work. With many older drivers retiring as the CPC deadline approaches and few new drivers entering the trade numbers are falling short.

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