Temporary Visa Scheme  For Lorry Drivers


The aftermath of the multifaceted crisis has created setbacks from supply chain issues to foreign lorry drivers’ workforce shortage in Britain.

With the exit of the UK from the EU, many foreign drivers had to leave the country, leading to a shortage of fuel supplies, food and other essential logistics. In 2020, around 25,000 HGV drivers had to leave the UK, augmenting the UK’s labour workforce shortage in food processing and fuel supply industries. While Brexit resolution may be the most prevailing reason, other factors such as the pandemic, low wages and the working conditions also contribute to the supply chain crisis. Recent reports by Guardian explain how a lorry driver shortage consequently forced retailers and fuel suppliers to shut down their petrol stations and supermarkets. Likewise, the UK delivery drivers shortage even influenced poultry and milk industries so much so that ‘gallons of milk’ had to be drained away by the farmers. Luckily, the UK government initiative is currently planning to launch 10 500 visas through a temporary visa scheme to allow 5500 foreign food industry workers and 5000 truck drivers to help address Britain’s supply chain and labour workforce shortage. Moreover, The home office spokesman highlighted the goals of the short-term UK visa scheme in his wording.

“We are moving to a high wage, high skilled economy and businesses will need to adapt with more investment in recruitment and training to provide long-term resilience.”

Despite the scepticism that Britain’s supply chain crisis can’t be overcome mainly by ‘filling in the vacancies’ alone with such a ‘low number’ of foreign workers. For instance, Food Markets alone would require at least 15,000 HGV drivers alone to tackle disruption in the supply chain, said Andrew Opie from British Consortium Retail.

Britain isn’t short of fuel but instead needs more HGV-licenced drivers to keep the deliveries of supplies running up around the country.

The government plan to deal with the shortage of heavy goods vehicle drivers and food-processing workers does hold its promise to save Christmas for Britain.

The plan under the temporary visa scheme further involves: ‘investing up to £10m to create “skills boot camps“ to instruct up to 3,000 of the new HGV drivers.‘  The remaining 1000 people will receive training through a government adult education budget.

In the future, the launch of a short-term emergency visa scheme will undoubtedly be a huge relief, allowing foreign lorry drivers and food industry workers, and other UK delivery drivers to enter and work in the UK for a short while. Others still urge that the UK government should increase the number of short-term work visas to 100,000 to balance the scale and gravity of the lorry drivers shortage in Britain in the long run. Contact our team at AXIS for more info about this visa and other matters pertaining to UK immigration law.

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