Source: Sinn Féin
21 September, 2021 – by Darren O Rourke TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has said the shortage of bus and haulage drivers is having a direct impact on the transport sector, retail deliveries and international supply chains.
Raising the recruitment crisis with Minister Eamon Ryan, Teachta O’Rourke said:
“The shortage of drivers in the bus and haulage sector has been a persistent problem in recent years.
“From my conversations with stakeholders in these sectors, it’s clear the problem is getting worse.
“The lack of drivers is now having a direct impact on areas such as school bus transport, retail deliveries and international supply chains.
“I recently raised this with Minister Eamon Ryan, and I welcome confirmation from him that the National Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Group is to report shortly with recommendations on how to tackle this issue, in the haulage sector specifically.
“It’s important that the government works with the industry to make these jobs an attractive career choice for people.
“Training, good pay and working conditions must form part of that plan.
“A commercial driving apprenticeship is currently in development, but if the delays in the apprenticeship system are not addressed, people simply won’t choose this route.
“In terms of bus drivers, age restrictions mean that workers who reach a certain age, but wish to remain working, are forced to retire, despite being in fit and healthy to continue their work.
“This is another area that needs attention.
“Other changes such as work permit and licensing reforms also should be examined to try and address this recruitment crisis.
“Minister Ryan needs to get on top of this issue before it deteriorates any further.”