As previously looked at on The Hub in Where have all the new truck drivers gone? Ours is a sector suffering an acute shortage of new entrants.

Ahead of the release of the January Driver CPC stats, December’s figures once again underline the paucity of new drivers joining the industry.

December’s data from the DVSA (formerly DSA and Vosa) revealed 69,561 new entrants have gained their Initial Qualification since 2008. That sounds healthy at first glance but November’s total stood at 67,714.

That’s just 1,847 new drivers gaining their LGV licences for the first time month-to-month, and given that DVSA does not record or therefore breakdown total licences by type - LGV and PCV are lumped in together – a third to a half of this total could quite reasonably be bus and coach drivers (whose Driver CPC process came to a conclusion last September).

So are 900-plus new drivers a month enough to meet the sector’s needs?

Well a recent round-table event with a group of 11 Hampshire hauliers suggested they alone needed around 100 drivers between them simply to replace those lost through natural wastage.

Skills for Logistics launched their Certificate to Work scheme this week in a bid to do their bit to tackle the driver shortage, but with logistics failing to attract large numbers of new starters in, especially drivers, availability of labour is starting to look like a critical business challenge.