Is there a skills shortage in the UK haulage sector?

Covid-19 a likely cause of low transport manager exam pass rates


It’s been recognised that there’s a high demand for qualified transport managers in the UK transport and logistics sector. Yet less than one in three candidates passed the transport manager (TM) certificate of professional competence (CPC) for road haulage, according to recent statistics published by the exam body OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA).


The low pass rate may seem alarming, but the OCR think the pandemic is a likely factor this year. Many candidates may have tried to qualify from home or remotely in lockdown. Also, remote working could have affected exam technique rather than lack of knowledge. With less access to training, the OCR believes less candidates registered for the exam.


Interestingly, the case study pass rate was just under half yet only 28.5% of candidates passed the multiple-choice paper, which is normally perceived as being 'easier'.


OCR will stop offering the CPC qualification from December 2021 (in an apparently strategic decision to focus more on exams for 14-19 year olds).


There are now just two remaining bodies who can award the professional qualification- City & Guilds and the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport. Watch this space for a new contender………


Driver qualification or shortage crisis?


Back in 2016, the UK government published a report that concluded:


“We believe that the driver shortage is a shortage of people willing to work in the sector rather than a shortage of people with the right qualifications and licences. It seems to us that the apparent shortage will get worse unless action is taken to improve retention and increase recruitment. (Paragraph 24).”


Recent research carried out by logistics consulting company Aricia showed a change in the age profile of C & CE drivers with Driver Qualification Certificates.


In her ‘2020 Update on the Driver Crisis in Britain’ Aricia logistics consultant, Kirsten Tisdale, shared some interesting findings and thoughts about the age profile of drivers and those with licences:


The good news:

  • In 2020, we now have a much larger and younger pool of C&CE drivers with DQCs than in 2015 (19.3% larger)

  • In 2020 there were nearly 100K extra C&CE drivers with DQC

  • Of those extra drivers over 50% are under 45

  • Nearly half are CE drivers


The bad news:


On the 10th November 2020 the Office for National Statistics released fresh stats, which indicate that there are now about three quarters of a million less non-UK born people than in 2019, presumably encouraged to return home by a combination of Covid and Brexit. That’s about 10% of non-UK born people who have left the country – how many of them were truck drivers?


Read the latest Aricia summary here.

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