Driving Careers 2020 year in review and forecasting 2021

Driving Careers 2020 year in review and forecasting 2021

It is fair to say that every person working within the Driving industry has made an enormous difference to how we as a country have pulled through a tumultuous year of uncertainty and concern. 

LGV Drivers, Delivery Drivers, Transport Managers and everyone in between have been relied upon to carry the heavy burden of ensuring our much-needed supplies have reached their destinations. This building pressure to keep the wheels of logistics turning has led to a steadily increasing demand for both new and experienced drivers as the year has progressed.

What does this mean? 

The initial COVID-19 lockdown restrictions had a dramatic effect on the number of driving vacancies being posted, surprisingly despite the increased dependence on home delivery services, advertising of driving jobs decreased by 5% on last year. However, the industry has been able to recover quickly as restrictions have been eased leading to the demand for Delivery and LGV Drivers in September exceeding that of September last year, by 19%.

What driving roles have the most opportunities?

The most advertised driving jobs with the highest number of both permanent and temporary vacancies throughout the UK during January – October 2020 included:

  • HGV/LGV Driver - over 190,000 unique job vacancies posted, down 28% on last year.
  • Delivery and Multi-drop Driver - over 85,000 unique job vacancies posted, down 15% on last year.
  • Driver Managers – over 20,000 unique job vacancies posted, down 28% on last year.
  • Delivery Leader – over 9,000 unique job vacancies posted, up 6% on last year.

How have driving salaries been affected?

 Salaries have increased on last year with average median salaries for primary driving roles coming in at the following rates:

  • Delivery Leader - £30,656 (18% up on 2019)
  • HGV/LGV Driver - £27,488 (3% up on 2019)
  • Delivery and Multi-drop Driver - £23,392 (11% up on 2019)
  • Driver Manager - £20,832 (3% up on 2019)

What regions have the most Driver opportunities?

The top 5 regions for advertised vacancies were:

  1. London >8,900 jobs
  2. Bristol >3,400 jobs
  3. Birmingham >2,200 jobs
  4. Manchester >2,100 jobs
  5. Leeds >2,000 jobs

Looking ahead and what can we expect from 2021?

Demand will continue to increase as the busiest time of year for the Driving sector gets underway. You can find our latest driving job vacancies here with Royal Mail among the featured employers.

Where will the work be in 2021?

In 2019 Logistics UK reported a national driver shortage, stating that 59,000 drivers were urgently required to keep goods moving across the UK.1 Finding ourselves in a global pandemic with demand already exceeding the number of drivers available, has created a new opportunity for anyone who has found themselves out of work due to COVID-19 searching for a new career. 

A driving career is an excellent choice whether you choose to train as a HGV Driver and obtain a Class 1 or Class 2 licence or using your standard car driving licence to become a Delivery Driver.

Whichever you choose you can be sure of a competitive salary, flexible shifts, the independence to work in your own space with clear career development prospects. Click here to find out more about UK commercial driving licences.

The resilience of the Driving jobs market is closely linked to how the retail and warehouse sectors are faring. Online shopping has increased 1,000-fold for some supermarket chains2 and the increase in online shopping demand in turn creates an increase in driver demand. 

Working hand in hand with driving opportunities, warehouse jobs have also experienced a much lower decline in job vacancies this year. Alongside forklift truck driving, warehousing was one of the core skills that appeared time and time again in driving job vacancy posts this year, presenting another occupation that can offer some much-needed resilience.

Choosing to become a Forklift Truck Driver is a smart move, with experience, you could become a Shift Supervisor or Team Leader and with further training, you could work as a Forklift Instructor, Maintenance Engineer, Warehouse Manager. Alternatively, Warehouse Operative roles are ideal for hardworking, efficient and organised people who thrive in a fast-paced atmosphere. 

We have over 100 live warehouse job vacancies on our website including vacancies for Co-op.

Important skills for work in 2021

There have been some amazing stories emerging throughout the year detailing how people have moved into seemingly unrelated roles during the pandemic as they found themselves furloughed and made redundant from their pre-Covid jobs. In April, Sky News reported a story about a British Airways Pilot who had swapped one cockpit for another altogether very different cockpit working as a Delivery Driver for Tesco throughout lockdown. 

For those already in the driving industry and desperate to make a change to their work future, here’s a post exploring ‘Alternative careers for Truck Drivers’ which identified many jobs that you can transfer your valuable skills to.

For more insights into the employment trends for 2020 click on over to CareeR’s final blog of the year and find out where all industries are headed for the new year.

Thank you and Happy Christmas! 

I would like to close out this final Driving blog for 2020 with a resounding thank you for your astonishing support throughout this challenging year. 

To each and every member of our driving community, you have all represented Blue Arrow so proudly and kept the country moving in your essential work as key workers benefiting every UK household. For this and your loyal service, thank you! We wish you all a prosperous and safe 2021!

All the Blue Arrow team.

Other helpful resources

There are many other resources on our Blue Arrow website that can help too:


1 Logistics UK (FTA) [Internet] October 2019 | Accessed December 2020 | https://logistics.org.uk/media/press-releases/2019/october-2019/hgv-driver-shortage-climbs-to-59-000

2 The Grocer [Internet] George Nott | Published June 2020 | Accessed December 2020. https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/power-list/the-power-list-2020-online-shopping/645119.article