Number of temporary delivery drivers fall as retail reopens

The number of temporary delivery drivers has fallen by more than a quarter as thousands of workers return to their pre-pandemic jobs in retail, new research suggests.

According to job site Indeed Flex, delivery work was a “lifeline” for many people during the lockdown amid a big increase in online shopping.

Its study indicated that the number of temporary drivers available for work in June was 28.8 per cent down on its March level, with many opting for shifts in the retail and hospitality sectors instead.

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“The logistics sector stepped up admirably last year, keeping millions of locked-down Britons supplied with food and essentials,” Indeed Flex chief executive Jack Beaman said.

“The surging demand for delivery drivers also proved a lifeline for many people whose jobs in hospitality, tourism or high street retail came to an abrupt end.

“Now, as lockdown restrictions ease, many of the temporary drivers who kept Britain moving in its time of need are boomeranging back to their old jobs.”

He added: “The trend is happening at the worst possible time for logistics businesses, who are simultaneously grappling with the post-Brexit shortage of drivers and a ‘pingdemic’ which is forcing many staff to stay off work to isolate themselves at home.

“The news is better for those looking for temporary work as a driver. They’re in the driving seat like never before – as flexible workers with an in-demand skill, they can pick and choose the shifts that suit them best.”

The news comes as Big 4 grocer Tesco announced it is offering a £1000 joining bonus to lorry drivers who join the company before the end of September amid staffing pressures on the UK’s supermarkets.

The payment, which applies to new starters who join the supermarket giant from July 14 until September 30, appears on various advertisements for HGV driver roles on the food retailer’s website.

with PA Wires.

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