FINDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF DRIVERS FOR THE UK TRANSPORT INDUSTRY IS A REAL PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH THE SKILLS TO OPERATE HEAVY HAULAGE OUTFITS IN LONDON. BOB BEECH VISITS THE KENT-BASED ERITH GROUP WHICH, WITH ENLIGHTENED THINKING AND BACKING THE RIGHT INDIVIDUAL, HAS GAINED A COMPETENT YOUNG DRIVER.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG PUSEY
There has been a huge amount of discussion and debate within the transport industry regarding this issue. For some operators, the previous ready supply of labour from Eastern Europe and other areas has been something of a stopgap, although this has brought its own problems in some instances. Quite simply the relatively long hours and working conditions does little to attract the younger generation and the more forward-thinking operators have tried to overcome these issues with improved pay and better equipment.
Looking at the positives, road transport, especially heavy transport, does actually have quite a bit to offer youngsters especially those who like to use their own initiative and work either on their own, or as part of a small team. Furthermore, they get to work with some complex modern machinery that requires old style skill and judgement combined with an understanding and familiarity with electronic control systems. In fact, we have found quite a number of the younger generation who are very interested in this sector, but don’t really have any means of gaining access to the industry.