Credit: Gript

Current system of recruiting foreign truckers “futile”

The haulage sector is becoming one of “many public sectors with retention & recruitment issues above and beyond a solvable crisis,” an Independent TD has claimed.

Over the weekend, the Irish Road Haulage Association held its annual conference, during which industry heads claimed that truck driver numbers are at least 15% below what is needed. Representatives claimed that unless this situation is rectified soon, this will have a negative impact on Ireland’s supply chain.

They blamed the problem on difficulties that foreign drivers from other jurisdictions have in getting licences in Ireland allowing them to drive trucks, such as from Georgia, Argentina and North Macedonia.

However, the government claims that it wants to see other countries reach a certain threshold of safety standards before making it easier to acquire such licences.

Speaking to Gript on Monday about the situation, Wexford TD Verona Murphy said she had travelled as part of a trade delegation with the Ceann Comhairle to the Eastern European State of Georgia.

“On the agenda was to visit an Irish owned HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) training school,” she said.

“In particular learning modules include EU driving regulations and mobility package legislation. In speaking to these learner drivers, they are only too willing to come to work in Ireland.”

She said that currently, countries that are available to recruit drivers under the work permit scheme are Australia, South Africa, South Korea and Japan.

“These are of little benefit, and are allowable based on the fact that they drive on the same side of the road,” she said, adding that this was “futile, given that the recruitment is primarily for drivers who will be undertaking driving on EU mainland roads and motorways.”

She added: “Other factors that make this futile are cultural differences in the extreme cost of travel, where holiday leave etcetera might be had with families.”

Murphy went on to stress that the recruitment issue could lead to a near-unsolvable crisis for the industry if it was not addressed soon.

“It needs to be recognised that any further delay in recruitment issues, coupled with delays in driving licence recognition by the RSA, will leave the sector in a deeper crisis, resembling that of many public sectors with retention and recruitment issues above and beyond a solvable crisis,” she said.

“It’s common sense that if there are drivers already with the benefit of EU regs and legislation, then that’s where Ireland should be recruiting from.

“Ireland’s driving licence is an EU licence, and recognised in 27 member states as an appropriate licence. The Georgian driving licence is accepted by Italy and a number of other EU countries as acceptable and in line with driving standards. Yet the RSA is dragging its heels in accepting the same, and making a recommendation to the Minister for Transport, and Minister for Trade, so they can to join the dots and halt the competitive advantage other EU countries have in recruiting HGV drivers.”


Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related Comments Members can comment by siging in to their account. Non-members can register to comment for free here.
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Do you agree with the Government's plan to reduce speed limits?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...