British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that the UK’s shortage problems could get to christmas, but reiterated that it will not resort to “uncontrolled immigration” to solve them. Only 127 foreign drivers have applied temporary visas to address the shortage, in response to the government’s plan for 300 drivers, Johnson said.
The ‘premier’ who was interviewed by the BBC said that working in trucking ‘should be a great job’, but added that there has been insufficient investment in facilities and pay conditions. He ruled out that the problem had something to do with Brexit, He noted that “the supply chain problem is linked to recovery” and said other parts of the world were also affected.
Imagine the UK has been frozen and the pipes are thawing right now; the tensions and the tension of the economy are waking up, ”he said.
Trade bodies have estimated that the UK currently has a shortage of around 90,000 drivers of heavy vehicles, which has been caused by several factors, including the coronavirus pandemic, Brexit and an aging workforce. Shortages have started to affect supply chains in recent months, with some supermarkets struggling to stock certain products and filling stations unable to stock enough fuel to meet demand.
The shortage of fuel tanker drivers caused panic buying at the pumpsAlthough supplies have improved in some areas in recent days, according to data from the Gasoline Retailers Association (PRA). Approximately 200 Army and RAF service men and women have been recruited to help deliver fuel from the depots to the esplanades.
The PRA said one in five yards in London and the south-east of England was still dry on Monday.
Under the government’s tailor-made scheme, foreign drivers who successfully apply for visas will be able to work in the UK from now until the end of March. In addition, the government is offering some 4,700 visas for foreign food truck drivers, which will last from late October to late February. Foreign drivers eligible for visas will not be limited to the EU, but the majority of drivers are expected to be from Europe.
The government has said that temporary visas are not a long-term solution and has urged companies to invest in a UK workforce.