Christmas is under two months away and for many it is a time they look forward to all year.
For businesses it can be a highly profitable time with shoppers eager to get the latest must-have present for their loved ones. However, this year the plans of a perfect festive period could be at risk due to a lack of lorry drivers. Demand is almost always high during Christmas and this year looks to be no different. It will no doubt place higher strain on postal and delivery services.
The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) conducted a survey of 600 employers across the UK and found that 91 per cent said they had either little or no capacity to take on extra work during this period. The REC's chief executive officer Kevin Green explained that recruiters stated that it was becoming increasingly difficult to find drivers as the sector is proving unattractive to young people.
A lack of lorry drivers has been an ongoing problem for the haulage sector for a number of months which now threatens to affect the Christmas rush. Both the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have been drafted in to help remedy the issue but it looks as if it could persist over December.
Mr Green said: "People are put off entering the sector by the high costs of things like training and insurance with the new Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) requirements compounding the difficulties.
"With peak time for deliveries coming up in November and December, shortages are an immediate problems and one that will only will get worse in the longer term."
The CPC was introduced earlier in the year with drivers being given a deadline of September 10th to complete. The REC noted that this was one of the factors noted for putting many younger people off the idea of becoming a lorry driver.