Driver Require

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Driver Require is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

CEO Kieran Smith
Going beyond
the extra mile
Driver Require is an independent, specialist commercial
driver recruitment agency. Established in 2000, it follows
a simple philosophy based on trust, professionalism and
uncompromising customer service. It owns an extensive branch
network from the south coast to the Midlands, providing both
temporary and permanent drivers to a range of industries,
24hours a day, 365 days a year. CEO Kieran Smith explains more.
Since we opened our doors, our focus has exclusively been on matching
professional, commercial drivers to the clients who need them. We operate on a
simple philosophy rooted in our core values of excellence and integrity. We’ve built
a track record of standing by these values and a reputation that is not just about
putting drivers in trucks, but includes building successful, long-term partnerships
with our clients. By delivering unparalleled customer service, we are the trusted and
preferred supplier for many leading regional and national brands.
The road to success
We have been on a remarkable journey, going from a thriving business to one facing
complete financial crisis when the recession hit in 2008, reducing sales by 50 per cent.
This was a defining moment in our history, and we took tough strategic decisions to
stay in business. Despite formidable debt repayment plans, we worked our way out
of the recession, stabilised the company’s cash position and rebuilt thebusiness.
We emerged stronger, with our values and principles intact and retained our loyal,
core customers and drivers. By the end of 2010, we had returned to break-even
point, and by 2012, we had exceeded pre-recession sales levels. We have since
»CEO Kieran Smith
»Established in 2000
»Located in Stevenage, with six
regional branches
»Services: Specialist driver
recruitment agency
»No. of employees: 35
Driver Require
Highlighting best practice
gone from strength to strength.
Revenues have grown rapidly, from £1
million in 2009 to nearly £15 million
in 2019, an average growth rate of
30 per cent per annum over the last
10 years, and we have expanded from
one branch to six and a team of 35.
We are a purpose-driven organisation
with a loyal team of employees whose
collaboration creates something special.
We focus on driver recruitment and aim
to be the best at it, while also being
one of the most compliant recruitment
agencies in the haulagesector.
A perfect storm
We have overcome many hurdles, not
least the last recession, and yet we are
now facing even greater challenges,
with the toxic combination of the
current Covid-19 pandemic and the
ensuing recession. This is likely to be
aggravated by Brexit, the new points-
based immigration regulations and the
roll-out of IR35 reforms to the private
sector in April. Meanwhile, the haulage
industry has been polarised and has
suffered enormous dislocation. Many
of our clients, particularly supermarket
and grocery suppliers, have operated
at maximum capacity; home delivery
has been in overdrive; while clients in
the hospitality, service, manufacturing
and construction sectors were
Around 300,000 LGV drivers are
currently driving for a living in the UK,
and the consensus is that there is an
underlying shortage of up to 60,000
drivers. We expect the Covid-19
recession to cause a 10 per cent drop
in demand for LGV drivers over the
next couple of years, although we also
anticipate that this will be largely offset
by a significant fall in the number
of new drivers entering the market,
caused by disruption and closure of
LGV driver test centres. The net effect
is that the driver shortage should
remain unchanged.
Furthermore, the roll-out of IR35
reforms to the private sector in April
2021 will increase agency LGV driver
employment costs. Hauliers, who are
operating on razor-thin margins, will
resist any increase in agency charges,
while agencies will also be unable
to absorb these cost increases due
to decades of having their margins
squeezed by their haulage customers.
This will result in pressure on LGV driver
pay rates, especially for those moving
from the limited company model to
PAYE, which disproportionately affects
foreign workers. Added to this is
the concern that Brexit and the new
immigration rules will combine with
IR35 to alienate many of the 40,000
foreign LGV drivers, while British drivers,
dissatisfied with low pay and poor
conditions, will also be tempted to move
to other careers. The result is likely to be
a worsening of the LGV driver shortage.
Managing the circumstances
We have been working tirelessly
through the pandemic to respond to
these challenges and keep the nation’s
businesses on the road. We have been
investigating and analysing how the
pandemic has affected our industry,
and we recently published a report
to provide a clearer understanding
of how Covid-19 has impacted our
business, our clients and this sector,
Haulage sector faces a
turbulent decade ahead
We are a
with a loyal
team of
and how it will continue to do so for
many years to come.
We’ve also taken a look into the future,
beyond 2021, examining the trends
that will influence the UK haulage
sector’s prospects in the long term: the
need for greater supply chain resilience;
an increase in home working,
ecommerce, digitisation, automation
and robotics; greater government
intervention; increased prominence of
green methods; and an appreciation of
key workers as strategic assets.
Although we face a turbulent decade
with many challenges, we believe there
will also be plenty of opportunities for
the taking. We expect there to be a
levelling of the playing field over the
next couple of years, which will provide
the survivors with exciting openings for
growth and profit generation. We will
continue to focus on being one of the
most compliant specialist agencies in
our sector, offering best-in-class service
levels, in the belief that it will make us
the partner of choice for the leading
haulage operators.
In the meantime, we appeal to the
government, HMRC and regulators
to strictly enforce the IR35 legislation.
If they were to make clear examples
of end clients, agencies and umbrella
companies that conspire to employ tax
avoidance schemes, we might stand a
chance of an effective implementation
of the new regime in April 2021. It
is important that all parties go into
the new tax year convinced that they
must comply quickly with the new
regulations, especially the end clients
who may have to absorb a significant
increase in agency costs.
The temporary recruitment sector
provides a critical service to road
haulage and logistics operators by
enabling them to cost-effectively
cope with substantial variations
in demand throughout the year.
This has been amply demonstrated
throughout the Covid-19 crisis. The
driver supply shortage, combined
with Brexit and impending regulatory
changes, represents a threat to the
continued supply of temporary drivers
and to the haulage sector. We will
continue to support initiatives to
avert a driver shortage crisis, but, in
reality, it is only the government and
HMRC that can intervene to achieve a
We have been
through the
pandemic to
respond to
these challenges
and keep the
businesses on
the road
We hope for continued
recognition of the
essential services provided
by delivery drivers and
logistics workers

This article was sponsored by Driver Require. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy