The Labour Market of Professional Drivers in Poland in the Period of Structural and Pandemic Changes
Purpose: Professional drivers are one of the most important links in the network of business relationships in road transport. Their importance for the effective functioning of transport, both domestic and international, is enormous. The large scale of the shortage of drivers, analyzed in the context of their significance for modern supply chains, is currently one of the most pressing problems of road hauliers. The main purpose of the article is presentation the current and future trends related to the impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on the labour market of drivers in the context of determining the reasons for which they leave the profession or change employers. In addition, the current and future barriers to entering the profession, especially for young drivers, will be presented through the prism of their professional competences on the domestic and international transport market. Design/Methodology/Approach: Description, systematization and conclusions resulting from the analysis of facts covered by the topic of the paper and forecasts regarding the labour market for professional drivers in road transport. The method used results from the adopted goal and assumed outcomes and focuses on analyzing scientific sources and publications from the transport and freight forwarding market as well as own experiences. Findings: The labour market in terms of the availability of professional drivers will become increasingly difficult for transport companies. Poland is facing the problem of societal aging and shrinking population, which means that new resources of potential drivers are limited. Fully autonomous vehicles are therefore a long-awaited revolution - companies that will be able to use this technology first will gain a significant competitive advantage. This perspective is not that long away in time. Changes awaited already before the pandemic and the future labour market forecasts seem to be a harbinger of a new quality of work, but they also pose many challenges for educational and business institutions and employers. Originality/Value: We argue that both the problems related to the number and structure of professional drivers in Poland and the consequences of Covid -19 should be treated as one of the key analytical areas in road transport.