Warehousing firms are struggling to find forklift drivers new data reveals

London, UK: The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has reported a sharp rise in vacancies for forklift truck drivers.

According to the REC’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker, there was a 9.1% increase in vacancies for forklift truck drivers in the first week of November, suggesting that companies are struggling to recruit.

Earlier in the year Clare Bottle, the chief executive of the UK Warehousing Association, said that before Brexit 34% of forklift truck drivers were EU nationals, but now many had gone back to their home countries. She said that pay for forklift drivers had jumped between 20-30% because of the labour shortages that followed, which was unsustainable for warehousing businesses, the majority of which were small to medium-sized.

“If anything, warehousing has been hit harder than (truck) driving by the exodus of people from our workforce,” added Bottle.

Long term, the industry needed to woo younger people and women, she said.

According to the tracker there were around 221,000 new job postings in the UK in the first week of November. This is the fourth highest weekly figure since data collection for the tracker was published at the beginning of 2020.