As expected, 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers were entitled to work in the UK, and despite warnings of a supply chain crisis, the move was repeatedly rejected by the minister.
However, since visas only last until Christmas Eve, this move raises immediate criticism that the long queue scenes at gas stations and the fear of lack of festivals cannot be stopped.
The British Chamber of Commerce said the amendments were “insufficient” and too short-term, UK Retail Consortium Supermarkets alone require 15,000 additional drivers during the Christmas season, and 5,000 visas “do little help to alleviate the current shortage,” he said.
“Christmas is more than just food, so we urge the government to extend this program to avoid the disappointment of millions of households during the holiday season,” said food director Andrew Opie. I am.
The visa scheme announced because some gas stations were forced to close after running out of fuel is part of a package that includes:
• Spend £ 10m on the new Skill Boot Camp to train up to 3,000 HGV drivers.
• Train an additional 1,000 drivers through adult education-funded courses.
• Use the Ministry of Defense Driving Examiner to provide thousands of additional HGV tests over the next 12 weeks.
• Send a letter to a retired HGV driver to encourage them to return to the industry.
Grant ShapsThe Secretary of Transportation said the measure would address what he called “this global crisis,” adding:
“After a very difficult 18 months, I know how important this Christmas is to all of us, so we are taking these steps as soon as possible to ensure that our preparations go smoothly. . “
The minister was forced to act, despite repeatedly claiming that the outflow of EU drivers created opportunities for wage increases that would allow domestic workers to fill the gap.
The Confederation of British Industry expressed “great relief” on the U-turn, but criticized the government for postponing it for a long time.
“We’ve been asking for it for three months. It was because the government had to line up the pumps to move because this problem could occur and even more. It’s a shame, “said Director Tony Dunker.
Meanwhile, BP estimated that 10-15% of more than 1,200 gas stations across the UK were short of one or more grades of fuel and a few were completely closed.
Baroness Ruby McGregor Smith, President of BCC, said: “Currently, some steps are being taken, but additional testing is time consuming and inadequate due to the small number of visas offered.
“Even though these short-term opportunities attract the maximum number of people allowed under the scheme, they are not enough to address the scale of the problems currently occurring in our supply chain. This announcement It’s the same as throwing a thimble at a bonfire. “
She added, “Without further action, the very realistic outlook is that without further action, it will have a serious impact on economic recovery, curb growth and make Christmas unhappy for many businesses and their customers across the country. I’m facing it, “he added.
Emergency visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers will expire on Christmas Eve, Minister announces
Source link Emergency visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers will expire on Christmas Eve, Minister announces