Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

UK warned visa plan to fix truck driver shortage will not solve crunch

Stock MarketsSep 26, 2021 10:55
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Lorries are seen at an HGV parking, at Cobham services on the M25 motorway, Cobham, Britain, August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s decision to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers is a short-term fix that will not solve an acute labour shortage that risks major disruption for retailers in the run-up to Christmas, business leaders have warned.

Long lines of vehicles formed at petrol stations for a second day on Saturday as motorists waited in line, some for hours, to fill up with fuel after oil firms reported a lack of drivers was causing transport problems from refineries to forecourts, leading some operators to ration supplies and others to close gas stations.

The fuel supply issues come on the back of warnings from the retail industry that unless the driver shortage was sorted out there would be major problems ahead of the busy festive shopping period.

"After a very difficult 18 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," transport minister Grant Shapps said in a statement.

The UK's Road Haulage Association (RHA) says Britain is facing a shortage of some 100,000 drivers, a result of workers leaving the industry, Brexit and the pandemic, which put a stop to driver training and testing for about a year.

Under the government's plans, 5,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers would be able to come to Britain under temporary visas, while another 5,500 visas would be issued to poultry workers "to avoid any potential further pressures on the food industry".

These short-term visas, which the government had previously rejected introducing despite calls from retail and logistics companies, will expire on Dec. 24.

Additionally, up to 4,000 people will be trained as new truck drivers, letters will be sent out to nearly a million drivers with HGV licences to entice them back to the industry, and ministry of defence examiners will be drafted in to speed up the testing process.

The government said the visas were not a long-term solution and the long-term solution was to hire more British drivers with better pay and conditions.

"We are acting now but the industries must also play 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," Shapps said.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, who warned on Friday the government had just 10 days to solve the driver shortage issue, said the plans were insufficient.

"The limit of 5,000 visas will do little to alleviate the current shortfall," he said. "Supermarkets alone have estimated they need at least 15,000 HGV drivers for their businesses to be able to operate at full capacity ahead of Christmas and avoid disruption or availability issues."

Others have cautioned European drivers may not want to work in Britain again anyway.

"I expect many drivers will not return to the UK even if the UK government allows them to," said Marco Digioia, general secretary of the European Road Haulers Association, told the i newspaper.

UK warned visa plan to fix truck driver shortage will not solve crunch
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Pedro Gonzalez
Pedro Gonzalez Sep 25, 2021 23:23
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The driver shortage is not a UK phenomenon is Europe wide. Ending the special law pandemic controls is the solution.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email