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Pay rise for Aldi lorry drivers amid shortage

BBC News logo BBC News 1/8/2021
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Aldi has increased its wages for lorry drivers amid a chronic shortage of drivers across the industry.

The supermarket chain confirmed the rise following similar incentives by grocers to attract HGV drivers.

The lack of drivers has caused disruption and delays in various supply chains, which has led to product shortages in some industries.

Tesco has offered drivers a £1,000 joining bonus for candidates who join before 30 September.

Morrisons has said it is setting up schemes to train staff to become lorry drivers.

Aldi did not add further information on its pay rise for lorry drivers, but its careers website states wages are between £14.15 and £15.34 per hour for day shifts, and £16.98 and £18.41 per hour for night shifts.

The Times reported that Aldi is understood to have pushed through a wage rise to maintain its position as the highest payer in the industry, and to prevent its drivers from being poached by other firms.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has estimated there is a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers across the UK.

The industry body has said "historic" shortages in drivers have been exacerbated by changes to rules following Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, with some 30,000 HGV driving tests not taking place last year due to restrictions.

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Drivers being told to self-isolate after being notified by the NHS Covid-19 app has also contributed to the problem.

The lack of drivers has led to supermarkets suffering shortages of particular brands. Dairy giant Arla, which supplies milk to all major UK supermarkets, has said the lack of lorry drivers has forced it to cut back on its deliveries.

As well as increasing wages, some businesses have taken different approaches to tackling the scarcity, with wholesale food and catering supplier JJ Foodservice launching a recruitment campaign to encourage more women to become HGV drivers.

The RHA has previously called on ministers to put HGV drivers on the Home Office Shortage Occupation List. and for short-term visas for to be offered for drivers from overseas to work in the UK.

In response to HGV driver shortages, the government recently granted a temporary extension of lorry drivers' working hours.

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