Scrapping the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) was one of the UK Independence Party’s leading policies in the recent UK election. Although UKIP lost more power than they gained, and a Conservative government is now in charge of the UK, the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK remains an issue. Could scrapping the CPC be a viable policy to improve this?
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) estimates that over 20,000 drivers have quit in the past 9 months, and according to Jill Seymour it is because of the requirement for haulers to hold a CPC. As a result, the country has a serious shortage. Haulage is essential to the UK logistics system – it ensures that essential items, such as food and clothing reach the shelves when they are needed.
The CPC requires 35 hours of training every five years, which UKIP claims to cost the country hundreds of thousands of pounds. While, as a new scheme, there is definitely room for improvement with regards to training, most well presented courses are seemingly successful.
Yet, the CPC is important not just for ensuring safety within the logistics industry, but also the safety of other road users. Despite only amounting to 5% of road vehicles, lorries are involved in half of cyclist fatalities. The CPC enhances the skills, safety and efficiency of our drivers – surely in the long run this will save on costs. Forward thinking business shows it is an essential investment.
So while we may have a shortage of haulers, scrapping the CPC is not the answer to this problem.