While business groups generally welcomed the government’s decision, some expressed doubts about its sufficiency. The government overthrow also comes after Britain’s transport and logistics industries pleaded with lawmakers to ease visa restrictions for European Union drivers. Logistics UK, a trade group, had applied for 10,000 seasonal visas for drivers, similar to a program for agricultural workers.
“While we welcome the visa program to allow overseas heavy truck drivers to help temporarily fill domestic shortages in food and fuel logistics, the 5,000 visa limit will do little to help. address the current deficit, ”said Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability. to the British Retail Consortium, a trade association, referring to heavy truck drivers.
“On their own, supermarkets estimated they needed at least 15,000 truck drivers to keep their businesses running at full capacity before Christmas and avoid disruption or uptime issues,” he said. he added in a statement.
Until this weekend, the government had resisted the option of issuing more visas. Instead, he increased the number of authorized hours a driver can work each day and proposed recruiting initiatives.
In his statement, Mr Shapps, the transport secretary, argued that the long-term solution lies with UK employers. “We are acting now,” he said, “but industries must also play their part with the continuous improvement of working conditions and the maintenance of deserved wage increases so that companies retain new drivers.”
The Road Haulage Association, which represents the UK road haulage industry, estimated 100,000 drivers were missing. “Ninety-five percent of everything we get in Britain comes in the back of a truck,” Rod McKenzie, the association’s policy director, said recently.