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26 Sept 2021

UK: Short term Visa Plan Won’t Fix Truck Driver Shortage Ahead of Christmas

The Index Today

Businesses have warned the country’s decision to issue temporary visas to bring in 5000 foreign truck drivers will not be able to fix the problem of acute labor shortage.
The retail industry has spoken up regarding fuel supply issues which may pose a problem ahead of the festive season. Unless the driver shortage is addressed soon, major retail disruptions could be seen during Christmas.
Transport minister Grant Shapps said, “After a very difficult eighteen months, I know how important this Christmas is for all of us and that’s why we’re taking these steps at the earliest opportunity to ensure preparations remain on track.”
The government plans to bring in 5000 drivers on temporary visas and a HGV license. Furthermore, poultry workers will also be brought in to make sure no disruptions occur in the food industry. Both visa will be issued on a short term basis whereas the long term solution requires workers to be paid better.
Grant Shapps further said, “We are acting now but the industries must also pay their part with working conditions continuing to improve and the deserved salary increases continuing to be maintained in order for companies to retain new drivers.” However, the limited number of driver visas will not resolve the current shortage problem as businesses have stated they need at least 15,000 drivers to manage their supply transportation ahead of Christmas.

©Photo: Reuters

Clay pottery with table linens
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