This year's CV Show is to tackle negative perceptions of the transport and logistics industry and its worsening skills shortage.

The UK's largest CV expo takes place at the NEC in Birmingham on 28-30 April and, alongside leading driver training specialists, providers will showcase the ways in which any necessary qualifications can be gained.

New data has revealed that up to 64% of UK transport and logistics companies are facing a severe skills shortage in the coming year with the current shortfall of nearly 60,000 workers predicted to rise.

The research showed a lack of knowledge of the industry, coupled with an outdated image perception, as leading reasons for this negative trend.

Murray Ellis, show director commented: “Championing education and diversity is key to challenging any misconceptions of the commercial vehicle sector held by those outside of the industry. We are pleased to be offering visitors an extensive range of training and skills providers, allowing them to discover the wide range of roles that are available within the industry.

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“It is important that we take a grass-roots approach to opening up the industry to newcomers. To this end, we have introduced three live theatre spaces this year. This will allow us to facilitate both talks and panel discussions, informing and educating in a live show environment.”

Recent studies reveal that women make up just 20% of the industry workforce and only 3% of Britain’s HGV drivers are female. Show organisers have therefore put a special focus on attracting more women to the show.

The studies also show that one of the biggest barriers to entry is a lack of facilities to support female drivers. To combat this, services and facilities providers are now actively planning their facilities for both sexes. CV Show exhibitor, Hireco, for example recently launched the updated Truck Stop at London Gateway with a focus on safety and cleanliness.

Paul Jeffery, truckStop manager for Hireco said: “We pride ourselves on providing secure parking with fantastic facilities. It's very important to ensure not only all of our facilities are to a high standard, but that all Hireco Truck Park users can feel safe and relaxed whilst using the park.

“Aided by our fully equipped CCTV system with intelligent PTZ cameras capable of reacting to live events, we hope that by providing truck drivers with such high standard facilities, this should in turn attract more drivers – both male and female - to the industry and fix the ever increasing shortage."