Good time for skill and nation building

Lord Tyrion

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I've read in a few places that the dreaded b word has actually got these drivers better pay because of the shortage they are finally getting decent pay for their efforts as opposed to having sheer numbers available to allow big firms to pay lower wages
Don't mind actually paying more for things by a few pence here and there if it means those doing the hard work get a fair wage
I've spoken to haulage drivers at work and heard an hourly rate of £10.75 as common. This isn't long haul drivers but they are still driving big wagons. That's ridiculous for a skilled job. No wonder it hasn't been attractive and why rates need to go up in order to attract new drivers and retain existing ones.
 
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Mudball

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I've read in a few places that the dreaded b word has actually got these drivers better pay because of the shortage they are finally getting decent pay for their efforts as opposed to having sheer numbers available to allow big firms to pay lower wages
Don't mind actually paying more for things by a few pence here and there if it means those doing the hard work get a fair wage
I expect fair wages be paid. but it is not just HGV, it will be across the supply chain. As consumers it will push up prices (read inflation). The challenge is were pay rises for consumers have been supressed, this is a killer blow. If wages rise in line with inflation, then the effect is likely to cancel impact of price rises. IMO, the govt may end up doing a u-turn (pun intended) on the HGV visas once they realise that 'Christmas is cancelled' headlines start showing up.

Like someone pointed out earlier, I think the whole HGV is tip of iceberg. The situation in other industries is no different. If you look at the technology/IT industry, after years of offshoring tech, there is a golden opportunity where tech is moving back - esp in Digital services where you need the skill but not the scale of what places like India can give. Can we find enough home grown Digital or Cyber people? No marks for correctly guessing the answer. As an industry, I see hires in Poland, Spain, Estonia etc. UK is running short on supply and overheated market.

We never really had a focus on STEM subjects and therefore we dont have the base to deliver it. We are now waking up to this and trying to push STEM subjects, but the underfunding means we dont have teachers and facilities in the state sector for this. Similar situation in other high skill areas like biotech, robotics, nano-research.

I dont have the answer on how we turn back time. Nor is it the case of which Govt caused it. It is a question of what we are going to do about it.
 
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Mudball

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I've spoken to haulage drivers at work and heard an hourly rate of £10.75 as common. This isn't long haul drivers but they are still driving big wagons. That's ridiculous for a skilled job. No wonder it hasn't been attractive and why rates need to go up in order to attract new drivers and retain existing ones.
In a few years, when we have fully autonomous driving on HGV, the skills will need to change. I dont expect my grandchild (expected to be born after 2035) will learn to drive in the first place.
 

pauljames87

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I expect fair wages be paid. but it is not just HGV, it will be across the supply chain. As consumers it will push up prices (read inflation). The challenge is were pay rises for consumers have been supressed, this is a killer blow. If wages rise in line with inflation, then the effect is likely to cancel impact of price rises. IMO, the govt may end up doing a u-turn (pun intended) on the HGV visas once they realise that 'Christmas is cancelled' headlines start showing up.

Like someone pointed out earlier, I think the whole HGV is tip of iceberg. The situation in other industries is no different. If you look at the technology/IT industry, after years of offshoring tech, there is a golden opportunity where tech is moving back - esp in Digital services where you need the skill but not the scale of what places like India can give. Can we find enough home grown Digital or Cyber people? No marks for correctly guessing the answer. As an industry, I see hires in Poland, Spain, Estonia etc. UK is running short on supply and overheated market.

We never really had a focus on STEM subjects and therefore we dont have the base to deliver it. We are now waking up to this and trying to push STEM subjects, but the underfunding means we dont have teachers and facilities in the state sector for this. Similar situation in other high skill areas like biotech, robotics, nano-research.

I dont have the answer on how we turn back time. Nor is it the case of which Govt caused it. It is a question of what we are going to do about it.
I've seen this sad with the u turns but tbh don't know what leavers wanted entirely but controlled immigration for needs of the country sounded one of them so I do suspect visas will be coming

Bit like Ozzie land when they need people they get visas easy
 

Lord Tyrion

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In a few years, when we have fully autonomous driving on HGV, the skills will need to change. I dont expect my grandchild (expected to be born after 2035) will learn to drive in the first place.
Funnily enough I spoke about this with a driver a year or two ago. His opinion was that the trunking that happens overnight will be largely autonomous as it is classic A to B driving of full loads on major roads only but the local depot pickups and deliveries will need drivers still. I tend to agree with him. Autonomous vehicles have their place but not across the board.
 
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Mudball

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I've seen this sad with the u turns but tbh don't know what leavers wanted entirely but controlled immigration for needs of the country sounded one of them so I do suspect visas will be coming

Bit like Ozzie land when they need people they get visas easy
While we are talking about less options at supermarkets, the real challenge might actually be closer to home - garbage collection.
Third round of garden wastes not being collected for us. So about 6 weeks worth. Not the end of the world but this may be more difficult if it was general waste not being collected. Hopefully won’t come to that.
 

pauljames87

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While we are talking about less options at supermarkets, the real challenge might actually be closer to home - garbage collection.
Third round of garden wastes not being collected for us. So about 6 weeks worth. Not the end of the world but this may be more difficult if it was general waste not being collected. Hopefully won’t come to that.
We have been very lucky throughout covid not had an issue with the bins

Tomorrow is our day as was bank holiday. Hope they come as last weekend was twins bday. I have a lot of rubbish lol
 

SocketRocket

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I've seen this sad with the u turns but tbh don't know what leavers wanted entirely but controlled immigration for needs of the country sounded one of them so I do suspect visas will be coming

Bit like Ozzie land when they need people they get visas easy
That hit the nail on the head. Give visas for the skills you need and not for the ones you don't.
 

BiMGuy

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While we are talking about less options at supermarkets, the real challenge might actually be closer to home - garbage collection.
Third round of garden wastes not being collected for us. So about 6 weeks worth. Not the end of the world but this may be more difficult if it was general waste not being collected. Hopefully won’t come to that.
Fewer options in the Supermarket isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as there are fewer options for processed cheap crap and not fresh food.
As you say, there are other priorities.

There are options for refuse collection. We could get the army in if need be.

But in reality, it does not take very long to train a HGV driver, so if there are enough people willing to do the job. It should be possible to fill many of the positions reasonably quickly.

Training properly skilled trades, engineers and medical staff will be significantly more difficult and take much longer.
 
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Mudball

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Fewer options in the Supermarket isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as there are fewer options for processed cheap crap and not fresh food.
As you say, there are other priorities.

There are options for refuse collection. We could get the army in if need be.

But in reality, it does not take very long to train a HGV driver, so if there are enough people willing to do the job. It should be possible to fill many of the positions reasonably quickly.

Training properly skilled trades, engineers and medical staff will be significantly more difficult and take much longer.
With no disrespect.. I must disagree

1) get the army (regular or TA) to do bin runs really. What will it do to morale? Also the forces have other things to do and I suspect they are streched too. Haven’t we reduced our standing number of boots?

2) quick training for HGV? I am no expert but I assume it takes time behind wheels in order to get your license. I don’t think we will have the numbers by Christmas. Maybe it is a case of visas for 2021 & 2022.. while getting local skills up. We should be ready for 2023..
 

ColchesterFC

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2) quick training for HGV? I am no expert but I assume it takes time behind wheels in order to get your license. I don’t think we will have the numbers by Christmas. Maybe it is a case of visas for 2021 & 2022.. while getting local skills up. We should be ready for 2023..
I was listening to the Business Secretary (?) Kwasi Kwarteng the other day who said that they wouldn't be issuing visas as it was only a short term solution and that firms should be looking to train UK residents to fill those roles.

I was sat there thinking that exactly what we need is a short term solution to solve the problems until firms could train more people.
 

pauljames87

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I was listening to the Business Secretary (?) Kwasi Kwarteng the other day who said that they wouldn't be issuing visas as it was only a short term solution and that firms should be looking to train UK residents to fill those roles.

I was sat there thinking that exactly what we need is a short term solution to solve the problems until firms could train more people.
If they say they won't do it expect a U-turn by next week lol

What I've heard from people with hgv licences (bus drivers for example) is it's getting medicals and getting the DVLA to do their bit as their behind and low on numbers

So not just the training side it's the DVLA issuing licences and having drs available to do medicals for qualified drivers

I read of one driver who was waiting an age medical... So couldn't drive..been doing other work since and doesn't want to return

I really think now is not the time to try and recover cash from covid money in budgets etc

I think we need to go post war spending style and rebuild dramatically. We have had a double hit with the word we won't mention (right or wrong doesn't matter) and covid at the same time. We couldn't have planned that it was out of control so we need to rebuild our skills as a nation and rebuild what we can and can't do
 

BiMGuy

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With no disrespect.. I must disagree

1) get the army (regular or TA) to do bin runs really. What will it do to morale? Also the forces have other things to do and I suspect they are streched too. Haven’t we reduced our standing number of boots?

2) quick training for HGV? I am no expert but I assume it takes time behind wheels in order to get your license. I don’t think we will have the numbers by Christmas. Maybe it is a case of visas for 2021 & 2022.. while getting local skills up. We should be ready for 2023..
Moralal for who? If its the army, they are there to serve the country. If that means driving something they'd rather not then so be it.

According to this it doesn't take very long to train a HGV driver.
https://www.truckschool-swindon.co.uk/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-lorry-driver/
 

pauljames87

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Moralal for who? If its the army, they are there to serve the country. If that means driving something they'd rather not then so be it.

According to this it doesn't take very long to train a HGV driver.
https://www.truckschool-swindon.co.uk/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-lorry-driver/
As I posted, it's not just the training it's the current back log

DVLA behind with licencing
Drs behind with medicals
Test centres behind

Doesn't just magically speed up to old speed after lockdown
 

SocketRocket

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As I posted, it's not just the training it's the current back log

DVLA behind with licencing
Drs behind with medicals
Test centres behind

Doesn't just magically speed up to old speed after lockdown
Nothing that can't be sorted with the will to do it.
 

BiMGuy

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Nothing that can't be sorted with the will to do it.
Exactly. If having more HGV drivers is such a priority. Get the DVLA to concentrate their efforts into processing HGV licences. Get them working 24/7 until its done. Pay overtime and insensitives as necessary.

Same with medicals. Make them a priority over other stuff until the backlog is cleared.

Then there is just the problem of testing. Again, increase the time available to do tests. Work weekends and longer days if required.
 

pauljames87

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Exactly. If having more HGV drivers is such a priority. Get the DVLA to concentrate their efforts into processing HGV licences. Get them working 24/7 until its done. Pay overtime and insensitives as necessary.

Same with medicals. Make them a priority over other stuff until the backlog is cleared.

Then there is just the problem of testing. Again, increase the time available to do tests. Work weekends and longer days if required.
Lifted from another forum

It's not just the lack of tests either. It's the lack of even being able to get a medical to apply for an LGV & PCV provisional. Even now, GPs are still not seeing patients face to face, and the issue with LGV licences, is that a lot of the time, it's up to the licence holder to get their own medicals sorted. PCV holders are generally in the fortunate enough position where the company arranges the medical, and at my work place at least, they've been doing that since the end of March this year. So of course, you have drivers that are hitting 45 when you have to have a mandatory medical, and they can't find anywhere to get it done, and it's the same for others of all ages whose licences are expiring.

DVSA were automatically renewing licences for a year up until October last year, but they've changed that and you still have to apply upon expiry, but they are giving you another year without having to have a medical - but because of strikes at DVSA and the massive backlog of applicants, I've heard stories of drivers at work not being able to work for 2-3 months and they have not got their licence through, despite them sending it off in good time. You can drive under a section 28, but you need to get hold of DVSA call centres to be able to do that - and getting through to them at the moment is nigh on impossible.

Naturally, these drivers that are still waiting for their licence to come back and unable to drive under a section 28 still have bills to pay, so they've found employment elsewhere with the intention of going back to driving when they get their licence back. Problem there being now, is that they're now doing regular hours, having a far better work/life balance, and consequently, they've stayed where they are and jacked the driving in. The same goes for drivers that were furloughed and got another job during the main lockdowns.

To use a phrase I've used before, it has been a perfect storm, whereby some have left because of Brexit, some have left because of covid, some have left due to licence difficulties and not returned to driving - and that's without the natural wastage too. I was talking to a haulier friend a couple of days ago, and he also came up with a good point, that the time of year hasn't helped where there is a small but not insignificant chunk of the driving workforce off on annual leave throughout the summer too.

As I posted previously, there are 75-80000 (ish) LGV licence holders not doing the job currently. Questions need to be asked why this is, why drivers that have invested thousands of pounds in the training have come to the conclusion the job isn't worth doing any more.

The simple answer, is most likely because the job is now ****. My old man was a trucker, and I knew him as nothing else until he retired. He loved the job, and it may be clouded by fond memories of my childhood of when I used to go out in the wagon with him, but I can't ever recall him being away from home, I can't recall being out with him and waiting for hours on end to make a drop, nor can I recall him ever struggling to find somewhere to park for his breaks.

Truckers, and all professional drivers of large vehicles, have been taken for granted for far too long, and hopefully things are about to change. Maybe, firms are wising up to the fact that unless the wheels are turning, they ain't earning - and without staff, those wheels are not turning. To retain those staff, T&Cs and pay need to improve, and improve fast, otherwise there will be a point where the shortage of LGV and PCV drivers will remain a permanent fixture for years to come. I've been with my current company for two and a half years, and in that time, my pay has increased by a grand sum of 24p per hour. When people feel that they're only worth 13p and 11p respectively, which are our previous pay rises, people start to question just how much they are valued.
 
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Mudball

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Today had the misfortune of having to call 999 for an ambulance as the MIL was having episodes of dizziness. After the triage, they said they can’t get an ambulance as not enuf of them around and currently used in life threatening situation. They asked if we could get her A&E ourselves for the tests which is impossible given that she is bed ridden.

So 6 hrs later we are on a waiting list for ambulances. They can’t see another one coming free for another 5-6 hrs.

So when Boris came along today to announce the hikes, it brought a wry laugh from me.
 

pauljames87

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Today had the misfortune of having to call 999 for an ambulance as the MIL was having episodes of dizziness. After the triage, they said they can’t get an ambulance as not enuf of them around and currently used in life threatening situation. They asked if we could get her A&E ourselves for the tests which is impossible given that she is bed ridden.

So 6 hrs later we are on a waiting list for ambulances. They can’t see another one coming free for another 5-6 hrs.

So when Boris came along today to announce the hikes, it brought a wry laugh from me.
I think he misunderstood the robin hood tales
 
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