Why not subsidise driving licences?
The average age of truck drivers in Europe is skyrocketing. When I was 18, I started trucking at my father's haulage firm. I drove thousands of miles, both as a truck and bus driver. It was a free and fun job. I have especially fond memories of the customers’ appreciation and the excitement of going to entirely new places and locations.
So, I know what I'm talking about when I urge more people to take up the driving profession. Even if electric roads with driverless vehicles will be introduced in the future, I am convinced that the haulage industry is, in fact, an industry of the future.
It needs to be re-stocked. That’s why I am particularly pleased these days when I see young people behind the wheel of a tractor unit or a 24-metre truck. But it's just as fun to hear about 40- or 50-year-olds who have decided to make a career change and go into the driving profession.
But these days, it's not easy to become a driver. A licence is expensive, and it takes a lot of work to get one. Unfortunately, this discourages a lot of people. That's why I think that the government should step in and subsidise some of these professional driving licences. If not, there is a great risk that we will soon find ourselves amidst a shortage of goods.
The situation is urgent. We need more training centres in upper secondary schools, and at the same time, hauliers must make it easier to combine work with family and leisure. The whole industry needs to put in some effort to raise the status of the profession, to attract new generations.
It’s important to recognise that a driver's tasks are very varied and, in some cases, complex. Of course, a lot of it involves driving the vehicle itself, but tasks also involve servicing, securing loads, dealing with customers, and managing complex IT systems.
Here are some more reasons why more people should work as truck drivers.
High level of autonomy and freedom
You will get a lot of freedom under responsibility. You will be assigned a task you must complete, meaning you must be at a given place at a given time. But nobody will be checking up on you during your working hours.
A future-proof industry
Demand for truck drivers is high and not expected to slow down. That means that the future looks bright, with plenty of job opportunities in a variety of fields.
See new places and meet new people
As a truck driver, you will see lots of new places, often on a daily basis. In the process, you will meet lots of new people and make valuable contacts in the industry.
Develop as a driver
The job gives you a better sense of direction and makes you a better driver because you become more careful and attentive in traffic.
Welcome to our industry!