After my career went tits upwards, I decided the only I was going to pay the mortgage is if I took a step down. In 2005 I spent £1200 and got myself a class 2 license. I was fortunate, I passed the test first time, which believe me, isn't easy. Yes, I can confirm, driving a truck is definitely a skill, and one that deserves credit. I didn't actually work for a haulage company as such, I drove an 18 ton vehicle with a built in shredder on board. Believe me, it was hard and heavy work. It's pretty fair to say that companies who employ truck drivers tend to treat them like dirt, and forget all the stories you hear about them earning a fortune, the DON'T. As far as the employers are concerned, they own you, and they own your time. Forget working the 8 hour days you are paid for, they will happily give you 12 hours work and expect you to do it, regardless of your personal situation.
The haulage industry had five years to prepare for what has now happened. They knew full well that many East Europeans would be going home, and the government warned them of this. Did they bother to train anyone up, did they heck! They are now getting what they deserve, but unfortunately it is also to the cost of the public's convenience.