UK-based Germans among groups targeted to fill shortage of lorry drivers

·2-min read

Thousands of Germans living in the UK have received letters from the Government asking them to drive lorries to help ease the fuel crisis even if they have not driven one before.

The letter, signed by transport minister Baroness Vere, encourages people to “consider returning” to the HGV driving sector.

It is understood Germans who had driving licences issued before 1999, which allow them to drive medium-sized lorries of up to 7.5 tonnes, will have automatically received the letter, even if they have never been behind the wheel of an HGV.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said anyone taking up the offer would have to go through further tests and training.

One 41-year-old German man and his wife both received a copy of the letter at their London home on Friday morning.

He told The Independent: “We were quite surprised.

“I’m sure pay and conditions for HGV drivers have improved, but ultimately I have decided to carry on in my role at an investment bank.

“My wife has never driven anything larger than a Volvo, so she is also intending to decline the exciting opportunity.”

The couple were among those included in the one million mass mailing that were also sent to ambulance drivers in a bid to ease fuel and supply chain shortages.

Ambulance drivers have also been approached (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Ambulance drivers have also been approached (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The letter stated: “Your valuable skills and experience have never been more needed than they are now.

“There are fantastic HGV driving opportunities in the logistics industry and conditions of employment have been improving across the sector.

“As well as attractive pay rates, we are seeing more options for flexible working, fixed hours, fixed days, full time and part time.”

A DfT spokesperson said: “The letter was automatically sent to almost one million people with lorry licences, including a limited number of international residents who were automatically eligible.

“Anyone wishing to drive professionally faces further tests and training.”

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