In the wake of Brexit and a pandemic-fueled shortage, the UK is considering granting visas to truck drivers.
According to a BBC News story on Monday, growing concerns in the United Kingdom over a scarcity of haulage employees to transport goods throughout the country has led to requests for short-term visa admissions. The requests come as the industry’s capacity to hire drivers has been hampered by Brexit immigration laws and the epidemic.
Officials in the British government, on the other hand, are unlikely to support such a policy.
A letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson dated June 23 urged the government to address the driver shortage. It was signed by 22 business leaders who represented food and beverage wholesalers. “The creation of a temporary worker visa for HGV drivers and the addition of this occupation to the Home Office Shortage Occupation List,” the letter requested.
The issue was termed as a “crisis” in the letter.
“Several reasons have exacerbated the shortfall, which is currently at crisis levels (over 100,000) and crucial supply channels are failing,” according to the letter.
The Road Haulage Association’s Rod McKenzie said, “We need long-term solutions to recruit a new generation of British lorry drivers into the trade, but there is an urgent need for foreign drivers to be permitted in under the Shortage Occupations list in the short term.”
The government wants British drivers to work in the business.
The government has to “provide funds for driver training to open the profession up to as many individuals as possible,” according to Alex Veitch, general manager of public policy at industry organization Logistics U.K.
“In the meanwhile, the supply chain will collapse without a temporary visa for drivers, similar to the one recently granted to agricultural laborers to pick essential crops,” he stated.
Consumers in the United Kingdom are already seeing price increases and delivery dates pushed back months.
“If we are to ensure that goods can travel to where they are required when they are needed,” the RHA predicts, “the UK is short of roughly 100,000 HGV drivers.”