Michael Nuttall, Lex Transfleet contract hire director, said: 'Problems across the industry with drivers are well known but not easily solved. 'While there are some very good drivers out there, standards are patchy and there is a general shortage of drivers facing us all. Firstly, we need to attract more people into the industry who are interested in becoming drivers. Secondly, those drivers must be able to see a career progression in front of them and an ongoing programme of training designed to maintain and enhance their skills.'
Nuttall believes that a complete change in the public perception of drivers is needed to achieve this and can only be done through a co-ordinated campaign. He said: 'The public perception of a driver is not of a skilled professional providing a high quality service. Yet that is the image we need to project.' He called for better pay structures across the industry which recognise and reward high levels of skill and training as a key part of the transformation.