Driver shortage: a global issue
The road transport industry is the backbone of the economy and plays an essential role in people’s daily lives. Professional bus and truck drivers are the industry’s key assets, moving people and goods where they need to be.
IRU’s initiatives to tackle driver shortage
- 1. In close cooperation with its members, IRU has developed the IRU Road Map on Driver Shortage, which sets out a series of short, medium and long-term measures designed to improve the image of the industry together with the working conditions and attract a more diverse workforce, including women and millennials.
- 2. In the short term, we are continuing to collect statistics and monitor the trend. We are also reaching out to partners and stakeholders as a matter of urgency. For example, IRU has launched a joint initiative with the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) to develop common principles, in the form of a charter, to improve the treatment of drivers at delivery sites.
- 3. IRU has also joined forces with the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) to request action from the EU and its Member States to create a denser network of safe and secure truck parking areas (SSTPAs). As official EU social partners, IRU and ETF, met EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to call for dedicated support mechanisms and incentives to ensure the necessary policies and funding. Following the meeting, the European Commission has made the building and upgrading of SSTPAs a policy and funding priority, with the first call for proposals consisting of 60 million euros published in October 2019.
- 4. Our long-term plan entails partnerships with companies and organisations throughout the sector and beyond. This will include international organisations, industry stakeholders, and educational bodies. The goal? To raise awareness of the acute shortage and to tackle the problem together.
- 5. In addition, IRU is a founding member of the European Commission’s Women in Transport - EU Platform for Change, which aims to increase the number of women employees in all modes of transport by sharing best practices and initiating actions to promote the industry. IRU is behind the establishment of the “Women in Transport Events Network”, which will be complementary to the EU Platform. The Network will serve to promote women at all working levels and showcase the transport sector as an attractive field for women to work in. It will work towards accomplishing this goal by giving women more visibility, fostering their knowledge and providing them with networking opportunities as first steps to tackling the underrepresentation of women in the transport industry.
- 6. Raising media awareness: