Czech carriers have long been plagued by a shortage of professional drivers. According to companies, there are a total of over 20,000 of them on the market. The problems mainly concern truck carriers, but thousands of drivers are also looking for bus carriers. The lack of professional drivers has been addressed by carriers in the long term, and the coronavirus pandemic has not resolved the situation.
“It is a fact that the road transport sector suffers from a permanent shortage of quality drivers, not only in the Czech Republic but also in all European countries. introduced by the Česmad Bohemia association.
According to his statistics, truckers lack around 15,000 drivers, and another 5,000 would be able to be employed almost immediately by bus carriers.
The problems with the lack of drivers in the Czech Republic are long-term and, moreover, are deepening. According to recruitment agencies, there are several reasons. They mainly mention the mental and physical demands of work, where drivers work in long distances, as well as a high level of stress and risk. Wage levels are also a problem, although many companies are trying to increase them. However, this further increases their costs.
In addition, carriers are not able to sufficiently supplement the current situation. Especially in bus transport, the problem is the high average age of drivers, which according to last year’s statistics is around 57 years. Carriers are therefore concerned that the problems will deepen with the gradual retirement of experienced drivers. According to some forecasts, up to a third of drivers could end up in five years. In addition, some drivers are already retired. This is one of the reasons why the coronavirus crisis did not lead to redundancies here, unlike in some other fields.
Companies are trying to attract new drivers in different ways. “If transport companies have a shortage of professional drivers, then they cooperate with labor offices. They will then provide retraining courses for drivers through the relevant driving schools. Mutual cooperation is at a good level.” Said Petr Kašík, Executive Director of the Transport Association.
Truckjobs.cz is also looking at women and foreigners more and more often, but their employment has been complicated by pandemic restrictions in the last year.