shutterstock_1806422035 (1)

Tesco is offering lorry drivers a £1,000 joining bonus in a bid to secure food deliveries as the UK’s driver shortage crisis worsens.

The supermarket giant is offering the bonus for candidates who join before 30 September.

Applicants must have a full HGV 1 (C+E) EU licence with no more than six current penalty points showing, the new Driver Card and must be 21 years of age or over.

On its jobs website the supermarket, which has 40,000 deliveries a day to its stores, also encourages applicants to search the careers page of its wholesale business Booker, which currently has seven pages of driver job ads, amounting to over 70 driving jobs.

Read more

The £1,000 incentive from Tesco comes as RHA warns that the UK’s supply chain could break down within two to three weeks unless the government takes immediate measures to tackle the chronic shortage of drivers in the UK.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has estimated there is a 100,000 shortage in HGV drivers across the UK. It wants the government to take immediate action by issuing temporary visas for European HGV drivers until longer term measures such as increasing driver training and testing, make their mark on the shortage.

The lack of HGV drivers in the UK has been created by a number of factors including the loss of thousands of European drivers who left the UK following Brexit, rising absences due to Covid-19 and the impact of the pingdemic, which has seen healthy workers forced to self-isolate after being notified by the NHS Track and Trace they have been in close contact with an infected person.

Although the government has put in place measures that allow operators to exempt drivers who have been notified by the Track-and-Trace app from self-isolating, the RHA has condemned the complexity and bureaucracy involved in applying for the exemption, which, the association said, appears to be aimed at deliberately disincentivising operators from applying for the exemption – particularly as the requirement to self-isolate will be removed by the government for those that are doubly vaccinated in three weeks’ time.