Young people not interested in trucking

Number of applicants for driving jobs falling dramatically

The idea of being a lorry driver holds little appeal for young Danes. Even though the salary and benefits of getting behind the wheel can easily top 30,000 kroner a month, the number of young Danes applying for the jobs has fallen so much that jobs are standing vacant and industry members are concerned.

Labour organisation Arbejdsgiverforeningen for Transport & Logistik (ATL) said that since 2010 the number of lorry licences issued has fallen by 40 percent and nearly 400 jobs remained vacant at the end of last year. If the trend continues, there could be as many as 4,000 positions going wanting.

“Young people who know nothing about the industry think truck drivers are thick, ugly, stupid, old and boring,” ATL branch head Anne Windfeldt Trolle told Politiken.

Negative misconceptions
Young people have been scared off by negative stories about driving – especially underpaid drivers scraping by on low wages.

Troll said drivers in Denmark earn “relatively good wages”.

A freight driver earns a minimum of 23,000 kroner per month. Pension, holiday pay and the overtime that often come with a trucking job often pushes salaries above 30,000 kroner per month.

Tide is turning
Hauliers and transport companies find it difficult to recruit young unemployed people – even when they turn to job centres and local branches of the trade union 3F.

However, Jan Villadsen, the head of 3F’s transport section, said he thinks things are turning around.

“The industry has long sent the signal that you go for the lowest common denominator and hire cheap foreign drivers,” he told Politken. “The signals are different now and I think the tide is turning.”