Leeds-based contracting specialist Nova Contracting has added its voice to calls for more women to pursue careers as commercial drivers.
Director Marcus Green said: “An estimated 45,000 drivers are currently needed in the UK and as many existing drivers approach retirement, there is a huge and growing demand, fed by our increasing appetite for online shopping and home deliveries.
“Only around 1 per cent of the 20,000 temporary drivers on our books are women, which reflects national statistics. There are some signs that more women are considering professional driving careers, but there is still a long way to go.”
Recruitment agencies are once again facing huge demand for temporary drivers, with online sales across the four day sales period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, expected to reach a record £3.49 billion, according to the Centre for Retail Research and Voucher Codes.
Black Friday online shopping increased by 32 per cent on last year, reaching a one-day spending record of over £1 billion, according to research from Experian and IMRG. Cyber Monday saw sales increase by 31 per cent on last year, reaching £934 million.
Amazon alone sold more than 7.4 million items on Black Friday – its biggest sales day ever in the UK, up from 5.5 million items last year.
“Growth will only continue and we’re working with recruitment agencies across the UK to help meet the demand both now and into the New Year returns and sale period,” Marcus said.
“But without newly-qualified professional drivers coming into the industry as older drivers retire, the challenge will only increase.
“Women need to see the professional driver industry as a viable and rewarding career path, with a wealth of opportunities.”