If you’re a retired HGV driver, you may have recently received a letter from the Minister for roads, buses and places.
In this letter, the minister refers to a national shortage of HGV drivers, and the pressure this is putting on UK supply chains. She then says:
“If you are no longer working in this sector, we would like to take this opportunity to ask you to consider returning. Your valuable skills and experience have never been more needed than they are now.”
She goes on to mention “fantastic HGV driving opportunities in the logistics industry”, and stresses that “conditions of employment and pay have been improving across the sector.”
If you’re considering returning to HGV driving after retirement, in this post we’ll discuss some of the things you’ll need to consider, and the steps you’ll need to take.
Why Is The UK Facing a Shortage of HGV Drivers?
The UK is facing a shortage of HGV drivers. This is due to a range of factors, including the effects of Brexit and enforced government lockdowns. In late 2021, the Road Haulage Association estimated a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.
They also reported that it was taking the majority of haulage firms over eight weeks to fill HGV driver vacancies.
Meanwhile, the Office of National Statistics estimated that, as of March 2021, there were 16,000 fewer EU nationals working as HGV drivers in the UK compared to the previous year.
Is The HGV Driver Shortage Improving?
The HGV driver shortage persisted into 2022, but there were signs of improvement. Logistics UK estimated that the number of HGV drivers in employment fell by 30,300 in the first quarter of 2022. But this was less of a reduction than we saw in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, which saw falls of up to 49,000.
At the same time, in the first quarter of 2022 26,388 practical HGV tests were undertaken. This is an increase of 43% compared to the first quarter of 2019. This was due to improvements made to the throughputs at DVSA testing centres, which is just one of the 33 strategies the government’s adopted to address the shortage.
Encouraging retired drivers to return to the workforce is another strategy. But what exactly would this involve?
Returning to HGV Driving After Retirement – Practical Steps
If you want to return to HGV driving after retirement, you don’t have to commit to the full qualification process to bring your Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) up to date. However, that’s not to say that you’ll be able to start driving again immediately.
This is what you’ll have to do:
- Check your licence. Find out which vehicles you’re allowed to drive on your current licence. You will need to renew your licence if it’s expired.
- Bring your CPC up to date. If you got your HGV licence before 10 September 2009, you can either complete 35 hours of CPC training, or take the part 2 and part 4 CPC tests. If you got your licence after 10 September 2009, then you need to complete the 35 hours of CPC training. But any training you’ve done in the past five years will count towards your total.
- Apply for your tachograph card. Once you’ve completed your training or tests, you’ll receive your new CPC card in the post. After this, apply for a digital tachograph card, which will store information about your daily hours.
- Prepare for international journeys. If you intend to drive an HGV in Europe, you’ll have to check your passport is valid, and get a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
- Find work. Once your licence and CPC is up to date and you have your tachograph card, you’ll be qualified to drive again. After this it’s just a case of deciding whether you want to find work at a private company, or else set yourself up as an owner/operator.
- Stay qualified. Don’t forget that you’ll have to renew your HGV licence and take 35 hours of CPC training every five years to stay qualified. If you’re over 65, you’ll have to renew your HGV licence every year.
Further Support for Coming Out of Retirement
- The government has an online hub outlining the process of returning to HGV driving after retirement, with links to all the training and services you’ll need.
- RHA has a dedicated Back To Driving resource, which offers practical tips as well as honest advice about what to expect when you return to HGV driving.
- Logistics UK has a skills and employment advice hub, which would be useful for finding work once you’ve qualified again.
Fleet Managers – Are You Looking To Hire Returning HGV Drivers?
At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance for the transport and logistics sector – from commercial truck and HGV insurance through to the insurance needs of large fleets. So, if you’re considering hiring some returning HGV drivers and you have any questions about your insurance needs, then get in touch with us today.