Business & Investment

Government takes action to address the current shortage of HGV drivers

With increasing evidence of new labor and skill shortages in the industry here and challenges in the global supply chain, the Department of Transport National Logistics & Supply Chain Skills Group The Group’s primary objective is to support career advancement, skills development and sustainable employment in the Irish logistics and supply chain sector.

The Department of Transportation is currently developing a draft recommendation for the Skills Group to consider in response to a request to the Minister’s group to make urgent recommendations on actions to be taken to address this issue.

In parallel with this work, the department is currently working on a series of other tasks, including:

  • Promote the industry by recruiting drivers from overseas

To promote the recruitment of drivers from the domestic labor market DEASP Has a dedicated employer relationship team that provides a variety of support and services to employers through an online portal to fill vacancies, including recruitment campaigns, professional recruitment fairs, etc.


DEASP EUR Irish program. Promote cooperation between employment services in member countries and accommodate the free movement of workers. DEASP We hold recruitment events in the EU / EEA labor market, especially for sectors with severe labor shortages.

The department is DEASP In connection with events in the transportation and logistics sectors, these sectors will be featured at an online recruitment event in Spain on November 4th. The Irish Freight Transport Association will participate in this event. Further opportunities in the EU / EEA market DEASP.. Event details were distributed to all members of the skill group, including industry representatives. DEASP We asked industry personnel to encourage members to register for these events as employers.

Non-EU / EEA

Ireland recognizes driver’s licenses from all other EU member states. To work legally in Ireland, drivers outside the EU / EEA must exchange their driver’s license for an Irish license and have a valid employment permit and visa.

The ministry is currently developing industry guidance notes on the requirements that must be followed when hiring drivers from countries other than the EU / EEA. It will be circulated to the industry upon confirmation.

Only drivers from countries with which Ireland has a license exchange agreement can exchange licenses. These bilateral agreements require a detailed comparison of the two licensing and testing schemes to ensure that both parties are convinced that the schemes are compatible. Road safety is an important standard and no agreement can be reached if it does not meet the standards required to obtain a driver’s license in other jurisdictions. Safety records from other countries are also taken into account.

Ireland is exchanging Group 2 categories (trucks and buses) with the following countries:

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is currently considering the possibility of a license exchange agreement with New Brunswick (Canada). At the request of the Minister of Transport, RSA has also begun contacting licensing authorities in the following countries regarding potential license exchange agreements:

  1. Moldova
  2. North Macedonia
  3. Ukraine
  4. Argentina

The Minister recently met with the Argentine Ambassador to Ireland, who agreed to provide all necessary support to facilitate the consideration of the license exchange agreement by the Argentine authorities.

The ministry also follows up through the DFA diplomatic channel and encourages relevant authorities in these jurisdictions to engage in the process.

The HGV driver profession was subject to a work permit in 2017 and currently has 320 quotas available (only 175 of the currently available permits, the quotas have not yet been exhausted). DETE Twice a year, the department checks the list of eligible occupations and increases quotas so that increasing the number of countries with license exchange agreements does not interfere with recruitment activities due to the availability of work permits. I tried to remove it. The updated list will be agreed by the end of the year.

  • Improved availability and uptake of HGV driving test

RSA is working to clear the driving test backlog. To compile a survey of the current situation, I recently contacted a sample of HGV drivers who did not use the invitation to participate in the test. The results are as follows.

In summary:
  • The majority of customers (47%) did not use invitations and said they were “not ready” as a reason to book for testing.
  • The next highest reason was “Absent / Email not displayed” at 15%, followed by customer errors / misunderstandings or portal issues – 12% each. We take the knowledge gained from this survey and review our message to make sure everything is clear to our customers.
  • 9% withdrew the application.
  • 3% do not have access to the vehicle
  • 3% wanted another test center, which was full at the time.

Customers who do not use the invitation until mid-August will be re-invited. If a new process is implemented in mid-August and the customer does not use the booking invitation within 10 days, the application will be “paused” and removed from the RSA invitation queue to issue a new invitation. A link that you can use to notify RSA when you’re ready.

This should help ensure that those who are ready for the exam make appointments without delay and reach potential newcomers to the labor market more quickly.

The Minister recently sent a letter to the Irish Education and Training Board (ETB), the governing body of various education and training boards in the region, to reiterate and raise interest in the Minister’s support for ETB training programs for drivers. We helped promote available services. And capture.

A new apprenticeship program developed by the Irish Freight Transport Association and IT Sligo will begin in January 2022. This is a two-year, Level 6 course for new entrants who want to develop a career in the industry.

Through skill groups, departments consider options for providing financial support for training in the industry, as needed.

The Skills Group is working on ways to attract new entrants to the industry through apprenticeships and training, but it is clear that maintaining it will be an ongoing challenge. At the request of the Minister, the ministry will commission a survey of industry wages and working conditions to better understand some of the underlying factors at the exit of the industry and the ongoing challenges in hiring.

The Minister also promises to provide the transportation industry with a 10-year strategy, as outlined in the Government Program.

Government takes action to address the current shortage of HGV drivers Government takes action to address the current shortage of HGV drivers

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