Company reorganisations taking place in the wake of the coronavirus crisis are leading to a new shortage in essential fleet skills, reports FleetCheck.

The fleet software specialist says that it is seeing growing instances of managers with fleet expertise being made redundant or moved into new roles, often leaving responsibility for cars and vans in the hands of people who have relatively limited experience.

Peter Golding, managing director, said: “Long-time watchers of the fleet industry will know that this tends to happen during recessions. There is pressure to cut costs, leading to staff reorganisations and redundancies that inevitably results in corporate de-skilling.

“We’re starting to see this occur at the moment and it will almost certainly create a noticeable vacuum of fleet skills over the next couple of years, as people who newly find themselves in positions of responsibility for company transport have to learn the basics.

“It’s a difficult moment and it is sad to see that some people are losing their jobs, but it is also probably an unavoidable effect of the ongoing crisis of the last few months.”

Peter said that, to an extent, companies working in the fleet sector had a duty to provide a degree of assistance to those who found themselves with new fleet responsibilities.

“There are really two aspects to this. One is an ethical point of view, that fleet suppliers should be helping businesses as much as possible, even if that means going quite some distance beyond the normal level of what you are contracted to provide. As people, we are all in this crisis together and we should all pull together. This is especially important when it comes to fleet health and safety.

“The other angle is a business one. Where a company has been forced to deskill, it undoubtedly creates new opportunities for fleet suppliers to step in and offer appropriate services that will fill that vacuum.”

FleetCheck was developing a number of initiatives that were designed to help those affected by the new fleet skills shortage, Peter added, and these would be launched within the next couple of months.

“We’ve spent most of 2020 working to meet the rapidly changing needs of our customers and others across the fleet sector through the different phases of the coronavirus situation, providing relevant information, appropriate guidance and new products. That’s something we very much plan to continue into the future.”