Lorry truck delivery

Independent wholesalers have offered their lorry drivers more training opportunities and improved work/ life balance to remain competitive against the supermarkets.

Several retailers told betterRetailing they had seen lorry drivers leave to join the supermarkets due to improved pay and prospects, which has compounded issues caused by the shortage in HGV operators.

To help minimise the issues, Tesco and M&S have offered a signing-on bonus in recent recruitment campaigns, while Waitrose is offering drivers an additional £5,000 a year.

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Poundland also said it would help drivers with the cost of acquiring a HGV licence.

However, independent wholesalers have introduced measures to prevent driver churn. A Bestway spokesperson said: “Stability is important to our drivers and we offer permanent employment (at good rates) with consistent shifts, which allows our drivers to plan their work/life balance.

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“We have also mobilised training for any of our staff who would like to pursue a career in HGV driving in order to help them meet this aspiration if they feel that driving is a career they are interested in transferring to in current market conditions.”

Similarly, AF Blakemore held a recruitment day this month to boost its number of lorry drivers.

A Nisa spokesperson added it was working closely with partner DHL on retention programmes such as driver schools.

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