The British government plans to issue temporary visas to foreign truck drivers to alleviate shortages in UK supermarket shelves and gas stations.
Employers opposed the calls for a more liberal visa regime and bought fuel across the country over the weekend, signaling a partial government move.
However, there are still warnings that temporary visa numbers may not be sufficient.
Why is there a shortage?
There is a shortage in UK supermarkets and petrol stations now because there is a shortage of 90,000-100,000 HGV drivers.
Companies are struggling to hire enough drivers as post-Brexit immigration restrictions still bar them from hiring abroad.
The British government says it wants to see more British citizens trained like many HVV drivers, but this will take time – and only the most important Christmas season.
Recently, carbon dioxide shortages have also hampered food production, exacerbating the problems faced by British supermarkets.
What is the government doing to hire truck drivers?
The British government has announced a package of measures aimed at alleviating the shortage. In particular, the current visa program has added an additional 5,000 HVV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers.
In addition, it offers HGV driver training courses for up to 4,000 people. The Ministry of Defense is using driver inspectors to increase test capacity.
The Department of Education is investing up to 10 10 million in “new skill boot camps” to train up to 3,000 new HVV drivers in short, free courses.
One million letters will also be sent to HGV license holders to get them back into the industry.
Is it enough to alleviate the shortage?
Jane Romer Sode, CEO of Gerteka, one of the largest freight companies in Europe, told the BBC that the extension of temporary visas may not be enough.
He said there was no “endless labor” waiting for them to take up the job, and he doubted that many would be able to get a job on their own.
However, he said short-term visas for truck work in the UK could be a “challenge” for foreigners.
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