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NFDA’s Commercial Vehicle division, the largest representative body for the UK’s commercial vehicle retail sector, has responded to the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) inquiry into European Economic Area (EEA) workers in the UK labour market.
NFDA highlighted the importance of EEA workers for the sector. The response shows that the skills and qualifications of EU technicians are identical to those trained in the UK and migrant workers are not employed in the UK CV sector as seasonal or part time workers but on a long-term basis.
There are approximately 4,700 Heavy Good Vehicle (HGV) technicians employed across 634 truck sales and maintenance sites in the UK. EU technicians account for 6.2% of the UK HGV technicians’ workforce, a significant increase of 12.5% on last year.
NFDA CV members are increasingly concerned about the skills shortage in the commercial vehicle sector as the UK leaves the EU. It is crucial that skilled technicians remain available to the UK to ensure that the industry continues to operate without compromise
The road haulage industry is worth £74 billion to the UK economy and with between 80% and 90% of all goods being transported by heavy commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, the sector is vital to the UK economy.
A rising proportion of Heavy Good Vehicle technicians come from outside of the UK and it is concerning to see that HGV retailers see more than one in four technicians leave the business every year. In addition, voluntary turnover across all HGV technical positions has grown consistently from 16% in June 2016 to 22% in July 2017.
To avoid higher repair and maintenance costs, which would cover higher labour costs, and not undermine the stability of the industry, the UK must retain its access to EU’s skilled workers.