BUSINESS leaders are warning that new LGV driver training requirements could lead to a shortage of drivers and rising prices for local industry.
The Staffordshire Chamber says more needs to be done to raise awareness of the approaching deadline of September 10, by which time all working HGV operators are required to hold the DCPC.
Professional drivers in the haulage industry have just one month left to complete 35 hours of essential training needed for their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence to qualify for their Driver Qualification card, which is now required to operate vehicles over 3.5 tons.
The DSA estimates around 300 thousand UK LGV license holders are not up to date with the new regulations.
Haulage drivers who acquired their vocational licence before the regulations were introduced in 2009, had five years to complete the required training for the DCPC.
This means the deadline for lorry drivers is September 10, 2014.
Staffordshire haulage firms and recruitment agencies are now worried that as this deadline looms, many professional drivers in Staffordshire will struggle to reach the required level of training, forcing them out of the industry.
Sue Frost, Director of Direct Recruitment (Midlands) |Limited, said "Our CPC Training Centre is not currently full and we have been told that there are still over 100,000 drivers that have not yet completed their 35 hours of periodic driver CPC training.
"This situation could leave many trucks standing in their depots and cause a price war between recruitment agencies, paying higher rates of pay to attract qualified drivers"
Deputy chief executive Jane Gratton said "As the busy Christmas period approaches, there is growing concern that many haulage firms will be left short of drivers and struggle to meet the demands of their customers".
Len Bassett, Director at RG Bassett and Sons Ltd, said "While many haulage firms have worked hard to ensure that their drivers are fully compliant with the new regulations, there are some who risk being left behind and becoming reliant on the agency market"