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Remarketing sector skills shortage extends beyond HGV drivers

The remarketing sector is suffering from a shortage of skilled workers affecting transport and logistics that extends beyond the widely-reported HGV driver shortfall.

Delegates at recent Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) webinar described the driver shortage as “just the tip of the iceberg”.

Gavin White, CEO of Autotech Group, told the audience that if the shortage of HGV drivers could be resolved, there remained issues with recruiting vehicle technicians, forklift drivers, trained truck roadside tyre fitters and more.

He said: “The issue is talked about as though truck drivers are an issue in isolation, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are problems right across all kinds of job roles in this area, largely driven by a lack of skills and new talent entering the industry as a whole. HGV is just the tip of the iceberg, really.”

The event was the second in the VRA’s series of Focus On webinars and was built around an extended panel discussion featuring a number of companies that are VRA members operating in this area of the remarketing sector.

Rising costs were also highlighted as a particular issue.

Gary Xuereb, commercial director at DMN Logistics, said: “There are cost increases that everyone knows about, such as fuel, but there are several others, too. Insurance is going up and the cost of the public transport used by our drivers is increasing. It’s very much an issue although one that we are successfully managing.”

Matt Atherton, head of operations at AT Moves, added: “Transport and logistics is having to bear more costs and increase what it charges as a result but so far, customers have been quite accepting of this. They know about the pressures we are under and ultimately, simply need vehicles moving.”

Looking forward, Mark Shearer, director at Movex, said that the sector could come under pressure in 2022 if the semiconductor shortage came to an end and there was increased capacity for new car transportation.

He said: “It’s difficult to see how things are going to develop and there is probably some masking of the degree to which capacity is under pressure. The sector is probably slightly smaller than before the pandemic and could be hit by sudden demand when the semiconductor situation starts to ease. There could potentially be a lot of quite sudden demand. There is definitely some risk in the market.”

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