ONS has issued data on the number of HGV drivers working in the UK, running up to Q2 2021.
In Q2 2021, there were 268,000 people employed as HGV drivers in the UK, down 31,000 or 10% on the same quarter in 2020.
Most of the reduction, about two-thirds, was accounted for by UK nationals, with the remaining third accounted for by EU nationals.
However, since EU nationals make up only a small part of the overall driver population, they saw a larger relative loss, with numbers down 30% in the latest year.
The ONS data also shows that the driver population is ageing fast. In the last two years a large body of drivers moved from the 46-55 year-old group (ie: “mature”, or “experienced”) to the 56-65 year-old group (ie: “pre-retirement”).
At the same time, the number of drivers in the youngest age class fell, which suggests that there has been an interruption in younger adults joining the profession. “Succession” is a key challenge identified by logistics experts.