Solve the driver shortage with flexible financing

As the country’s main subsistence sector, trucking is the moving backbone of the UK economy and its ability to trade with European partners. No wonder, then, that the much-discussed shortage of truck drivers has led to serious problems in recent years.

At the peak of the shortage in late 2021, the UK shortage was estimated at between 60,000 and 100,000 drivers.[1] With inflation ramping up and an energy crisis, it’s imperative to get the supply lines back under control and move goods across the country.

However, the price of truck training can be a barrier for many potential drivers. Flexible financing options can help increase uptake of the training needed to overcome the UK’s lorry driver shortage. This will fix a national problem while helping people earn money for a better standard of living.

how did we get here

The shortage of lorry drivers in the UK is by no means a new phenomenon. With an aging population of truck operators, a pension crisis has been looming for many years. At the same time, the industry is struggling to attract younger employees, often due to the upfront costs and time commitment involved in acquiring proper training and licensing.

The problem had been obscured in the industry by the fact that a large number of drivers were EU workers, many of whom had returned to their home countries after Brexit. Research shows that the number of employed lorry drivers in the UK fell by 30,300 in the first quarter of this year.[2] The growth of e-commerce and online grocery shopping has put further pressure on supply chains. In short, more and more people in the country rely on an understaffed profession – truck drivers.

Providing sustainable solutions

The problem has been taken notice of by both the private and public sectors, and a mix of legislation and pay rises have done something to boost new hires. However, the government’s temporary visa approval at the end of 2021 met with little success, proving that the focus must be on training in one’s own country and not on temporary recruitment abroad.[3]

This month the government announced proposed changes to the testing regulation[4] This allows training for new applicants to be simpler and shorter, eliminating any bottlenecks in the process. However, one of the simpler problems is the cost of driver training.

This is where financing options can make a real difference and support the service sector, especially at a time when customers are facing a cost of living crisis.

Flexible financing promotes supply chains

Offering an affordable compensation structure for people wishing to (re)train as a truck driver provides a simple and quick solution to the affordability issues faced by prospective drivers.

Financial providers like Deko, which offer a platform for multiple products and lenders, can alleviate the cost problem for new drivers. Importantly, this also represents significant support for retailers, as improved payment options will help training providers build demand.

With its multi-lender range, Deko can cover a wide range of basket sizes and thus a wide range of courses. This is unlike traditional financial providers who have limited coverage, both in terms of basket size and repayment terms.

providing a solution

By splitting payments into multiple installments, financing providers like Deko can make a real difference when onboarding new employees nationwide. This is essential to tackling the truck drivers’ pension crisis and offers a generation the opportunity to get the right education at the right cost.

Importantly, improved payment options may be key to helping a whole segment of the UK population educate themselves in the face of a cost of living crisis. This can ease the transition to a new career, increase salaries for individuals, and increase demand for training centers across the country.

Author: Huw Phillips, Sales Manager





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