Mayor meets haulage chiefs over driver shortage

mayor meets RHA chiefs

Mayor Nik Johnson meets haulage bosses over driver shortage - Credit: Combined Authority

Combined Authority funding to train lorry drivers is helping meet a national shortage, mayor Nik Johnson has said.

Dr Johnson met leaders from the Road Haulage Association in a bid to tackle HGV driver shortages which have led to supply chain issues across the country.

He discussed what the haulage industry is doing to address the the number of driver vacancies during the meeting at the RHA's head office in Peterborough.

Up to 45 new drivers are being trained after the Combined Authority announced in October that it was funding training as part of its responsibility for adult education.

 Dr Johnson said: “Our work to improve skills in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is informed by employers, so it was great to meet with the RHA and find out more about the HGV driver situation direct from industry."

He said: “I’m very concerned about shortages of HGV drivers because not only is it holding back industry and the wider economy, it also has a direct impact on lives if people can’t get the goods they need.

“The Combined Authority is able to support the situation with the flexible use of our adult education budget, funding courses to help both reduce the driver shortages and also help local people into jobs where there is sky-high demand.

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“I want to continue to work with the RHA to ensure we can support an industry which is a key employer in our region, helping to provide the skills it needs now and in the future.

"I also look to work with RHA and their members to champion improvements to the health and wellbeing of drivers and to look at how the haulage industry is improving fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and the impact on the environment.”

Twenty trainees have started training, with a second group starting this month and a new cohort will now begin the scheme.

The Combined Authority, through its Growth Works With Skills programme, has also been working with local employers to see what support can be offered to meet the need for HGV drivers and its initiatives sit alongside action being taken by the Government.