National Lorry Week celebrates the next generation of truckers

national lorry weekThe second annual National Lorry Week officially kicks off today as industry interest groups try to encourage a new generation of drivers to take up trucking.

Organised by the Road Haulage Association (RHA), National Lorry Week encourages drivers, policy makers and the wider public to ‘Love the Lorry,’ and support campaigns to help improve British trucking.

Finding a new breed of trucker

One of the most pressing concerns for the future of the freight and logistics sector is undoubtedly the aging population of drivers.

Depending on who you believe, the average age of the British truck driver is 53 or 55. And they’re not getting any younger. As more and more of the old school truckers retire from the road, fleet operators are having to look further and spend more to get the right drivers.

But, as the RHA is keen to stress, this isn’t just a problem for fleet managers. Around 85 per cent of everything Britain owns, wears or consumers was delivered by one of these ageing truckers at one point or another.

The consequences of the ageing driver problem could be severe. Rising prices would be the most obvious and immediate problem. But there are others too. Online shoppers might have to say goodbye to next-day delivery and, in the most extreme circumstances, Christmas might have to be cancelled.

With all this in mind, the RHA has made the theme of this year’s awareness week “The Next Generation.”

As well as raising awareness online and in the newspapers, RHA members have scheduled dozens of events to introduce children to logistics and inspire a new breed of lorry drivers.

The member events are being held at high schools, sixth form colleges, trucking festivals and even football matches. You can find a full list of events here.

Attracting more kids to trucking

Filling recruitment gaps in the logistics sector means inspiring more children to pursue a career behind the wheel.

The RHA has already taken some steps towards getting younger people excited about trucking. At some of last year’s RHA member evets, pupils from across the country had the chance to meet drivers and ask them questions. One competition winning pupil even got a rig named after him.

Since then, the RHA has also worked with the government and skills agencies to promote apprenticeship schemes and other initiatives like the Road to Logistics, which encourages ex-servicemen and women into the industry.

Now the RHA has signalled that it wants to go further. More details of an RHA training academy are expected to be revealed this week. Stay tuned for more information.