For most people, reaching their 17th birthday is a real milestone. You are allowed to become a blood donor (assuming you are fit, healthy and not underweight) and – more significantly – you can start learning to drive.
That first opportunity to get behind a wheel and set off down the road, albeit with an instructor by your side, is a real rite of passage for 17-year-olds.
Or is it? Because according to a study carried out by the University of the West of England and the University of Oxford, and commissioned by the Department for Transport, the number of teenagers holding a driving licence has fallen by 40 per cent in two decades.
There are various reasons cited for this fall in 17, 18 and 19-year-olds holding licences. These include (not surprisingly) the associated costs, such as insurance, tax, fuel and lessons; an increase in the numbers going to university; and the fact that teenagers can chat to friends on social media, hence removing the need to drive to see each other.
Perhaps more significantly, though, is the fall in the percentage of people aged between 21 and 29 holding a driving licence, from 75 per cent to 63 per cent.
Implications of fewer drivers for the transport sector
Clearly, if fewer teenagers and young people hold a driving licence, this must mean fewer are considering coming into the driving industry.
As a leading recruitment agency for the driving sector, we are only too aware of the national shortage of drivers. According to the Road Haulage Association, the UK is currently facing a shortage of 45,000 to 50,000 drivers.
But of course every negative has a positive side. This means there are many, many opportunities within the transport sector for those who are looking for employment, perhaps for the first time or as a career change.
Driving is a rewarding career and we can offer help and support with training. If you are already a qualified driver, check out our vacancies here.
And there is another upside. According to the research, we may have hit ‘peak car’, meaning that we have reached our maximum number of private vehicles on Britain’s roads. Good news for those of us who get fed up sitting in traffic jams.
If you are interested in a career in driving, or any of the other sectors we specialise in here at 24-7 Staffing, please get in touch with the team.