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Skilled drivers are critical to overcoming key industry challenges
Global | Geneva

Skilled drivers are critical to overcoming key industry challenges

11 Oct 2023 · People

IRU Academy Associate Training Institutes from 20 countries have stressed the importance of strengthening professional qualification standards to help mitigate driver shortages during their recent e-meeting.

IRU’s latest research shows that the impact of driver shortages is extending beyond business expansion challenges. Skill performance issues and increased incident rates are among some of the main consequences of driver shortages.

Skilled drivers are critical to overcoming key industry challenges

Over 30 participants, representing 22 companies from 20 countries, agreed that driver skills profiling is becoming increasingly important. They further highlighted that operators require data and evidence-based information to enhance driver recruitment procedures and support driver development with targeted actions.

IRU member Tristar noted that its incident rate decreased after it implemented RoadMasters’ hydrocarbon programme, helping to improve overall safety and performance standards across its hydrocarbon transport supply chain.

“With the rollout of IRU RoadMasters in key Tristar locations, we have managed to decrease incidents in our road transport of hydrocarbon material supply chain by 60%. IRU RoadMasters has enabled us to mitigate our risks and also contributed to better driver retention,” said Sridhar Srinivasalu, Group HSEQ Manager, Tristar.

Participants also discussed the need to improve professional drivers’ employment mobility as a solution to mitigate the driver shortage crisis. It was recognised that better harmonisation of professional skills should be prioritised to guarantee that any driver, of any origin, can demonstrate high safety and efficiency standards in transport operations.

One such initiative seeking to better harmonise professional driver skills is led by the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP).

With the support of IRU, CLDP is working on strengthening practical training capacity in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to get managers and drivers to match the requirements of companies in Europe.

The meeting ended with a discussion on how eco-driving programmes are not sufficiently leveraged, noting that companies should systematically train and manage their drivers to reduce their fuel consumption – and, by extension, CO2 emissions – by up to 15%.


Watch the full webinar