Last month the Hub asked the question: will you be able to recruit foreign nationals from aboard to plug any skills gap caused by the UK Driver CPC deadline next year?

And it thought it had received an emphatic no from the good people at Vosa. However, thanks to the equally good people at the not-yet-merged DSA, it appears that no should have actually been a yes.

While this is red-face time for the Hub, it’s a welcome bit of good news for UK operators.

Simply put (fingers crossed), the UK’s Driver CPC deadline is 10 September 2014 along with the bulk of its European peers.

There are even countries that already have the system in place (Romania since 2003, for example). However, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Sweden and Norway (with caveats in some cases) have negotiated an extension until  10 September 2016.

That’s quite a large pool of drivers all in all, and it seemed that they could be barred from working in the UK after our own deadline if they didn’t hold a Driver CPC qualification.

However, the DSA has pointed out that drivers from these countries will still be able to drive professionally after this time via their acquired rights, which in their case run up until 10 September 2016.

So if an improving economy – fingers crossed – combined with a percentage of older drivers retiring rather than completing their Driver CPC causes a skills shortage next autumn, as the likes of Skills for Logistics has suggested, operators will be able to recruit from beyond these shores to keep the wheels turning, including those nations still transitioning to Driver CPC.

Glad we've cleared that up, then.