18 November 2022

ELP WEBINAR ON LACK OF SKILLED WORKFORCE IN THE LOGISTICS SECTOR

On 16 November the European Logistics Platform held an event on the lack of skilled workforce in the logistics sector. The event was hosted by MEP Marianne Vind (S&D, Dennmark) who was joined by panel speakers, Raluca Marian, Director for EU advocacy of IRU, Pablo Fabregas Martinez, Member of the cabinet of Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, Morten Utengen, chairman of the board of Utengen Transport A/S and Yves Baden, HR Director at the Luxembourg National Railway Company (CLF).

Opening the event, MEP Vind addressed the importance of ensuring more favourable working conditions for drivers in the road haulage sector in Europe, referring to the need for more flexibility, and safe and secure parking spaces. She also noted that there was an enormous potential to attract more women to the sector when the conditions are improved.  Mr Pablo Fabregas Martinez mentioned the Commission’s plan to revise the 2013 Driving license Directive next year, highlighting accompanied driving and attracting drivers from third countries as concrete measures. He added that the Commission is encouraging social dialogue at national, sectoral and company level to improve working conditions of the logistics workforce.

Raluca Marian presented the latest IRU report on the shortage of drivers in the EU illustrating the need for action with the current 380,000-425,000 truck driver vacancies in Europe. The forecast shows that demand for drivers increased by 44% between January and September 2022. If nothing is done according to IRU’s estimates Europe could lack over 2 million drivers in 2026. The industry reported working conditions, long hours, time away from the family and lack of flexibility to better balance work and private life among the key reasons that the profession may come off as unattractive to young people.

Mr Baden noted that the rail sector faces similar concerns as the road freight sector, with an ageing workforce, and the difficulty to recruit younger, high-skilled workers. He noted some sectoral initiatives at EU level to attract new workers in the rail sector, such as the STAFFER Blueprint – Skills alliance, or the women in Rail agreement, to increase the attractiveness of railway jobs for women. Mr Baden finally called on policymakers and industry representatives to find solutions together to keep people ‘fit’ and ready along their professional career, and ensure they acquire new needed skills needed, especially in IT for example.