A career in logistics, including becoming an HGV driver, is the solution to spiralling unemployment rates – but the DVSA needs to sort out the thousands of lost driving tests during lockdown, according to Logistics UK.

The business group was responding to figures released from the office of national statistics, which showed that unemployment is now at its highest rate since 2016, at 5.1%.

Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK policy director, said: “The logistics industry is in desperate need of workers to fill a variety of operational roles, including HGV drivers, but government policy is preventing workers from accessing these careers.

“Logistics UK is urging the DVSA to put in place a programme to catch-up on the tens of thousands of lost driving tests during lockdown.

“With HGV driver training typically costing around £7,000 per person, Logistics UK is also calling for the government to provide interest free loans or grants to train and reskill potential employees.

“With the UK facing such high unemployment, those seeking work should not be prevented from taking advantage of the opportunities available in logistics.”

Driver Hire said that with vans now accounting for 10% of vehicles on the road and an ageing HGV driver workforce, there are currently more opportunities for drivers and other logistics professionals than ever before.

However, it added that the public often overlooked a career in the industry.

It said the average salary for a lorry driver ranges between £22,000 to £40,000, with some earning up to £60,000 depending on the licence category, working patterns and qualifications.

“From the logisticians overseeing the supply chain, right through to the drivers needed to manoeuvre commercial vehicles, there is a host of different avenues to explore, each providing opportunity for great progression,” Driver Hire added.