New research from Pallet-Track has revealed that female HGV drivers aged 20-29 gain the highest pass rates.
Analysis of DfT data showed that women in this age category have won out over male drivers every year between 2010 and 2022.
A total of 67.9% of 20-29-year-old women successfully passed their practical test in 2021-2022, compared to 63% of men in the same age category.
The overall pass rate for all drivers taking a practical HGV test in 2021-2022 was 58.7%.
Pallet-Track’s analysis also showed that if the same number of women had taken tests as men in 2021-2022, based on the overall female pass rate of 62.4% for drivers aged 18 to over 60, there would now be an extra 48,931 qualified HGV drivers on the road.
This would almost erase Britain’s current shortfall, which stands at 50,000 drivers according to RHA calculations.
However, women made up just 9.1% of those taking tests; 8,731 tests were completed by female drivers compared to 87,146 taken by male drivers.
Further research from the DfT’s Domestic Road Freight Statistics 2020 report found the gender split of HGV drivers in work as 99% and 1% female – a figure that has not changed since its first inclusion in the annual report in 2016.
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Caroline Green (pictured), chief executive at Pallet-Track, said: “Our research should be a real eye opener for the industry as it demonstrates the value of diversifying the logistics workforce.
“The results of the analysis show that Britain has the talent and skills to overcome any remaining driver shortages and the resources to future proof our workforce.
“However, there are some key changes the logistics industry needs to make if it wants to attract more women into driving roles, starting with driver facilities and bathroom access.
“The majority of truck stop facilities are woefully inadequate and require major improvements; we welcome the government’s recently announced match funding initiative and hope that this will be a positive step forward for the industry.
“Education is another area where major improvements are needed if we are to inspire younger generations to enter the profession, particularly young women.
“Logistics plays a major role in all our lives and is the fifth largest employer in the UK, but we need to engage with schools more to demonstrate the breadth of careers that the industry can offer.
“Being an HGV driver offers a range of perks, such as flexible hours and independent working, and great opportunities for progression, it’s time we started showing young people how rewarding a career in logistics can be.”