Petrol stations around the country are experiencing fuel shortages as people panic-buy petrol and diesel. This is due to reports of HGV driver shortages causing supply and logistics problems.
The UK government will be launching a temporary visa scheme that will allow 5,000 HGV drivers to come to the UK in the 3 months run-up to Christmas. This aims to provide short-term relief to the haulage industry’s driver crisis.
In addition, 5,500 visas for poultry workers will be made available for the same period. This should avoid any potential issues for the food industry in the run-up to the festive season.
According to a press release on Friday night (24 September 2021):
“Recruitment for additional short-term HGV drivers and poultry workers will begin in October and these visas will be valid until 24 December 2021. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are preparing to process the required visa applications, once made, in a timely manner.”
“Visas will not be the long-term solution, and reform within the industry is vital. That’s why the government continues to support the industry in solving this issue in the long term through improved testing and hiring, with better pay, working conditions and diversity.”
Following Brexit, the government launched the points-based immigration system, which aims to attract skilled workers to the UK. Provisions have been made for lower-skilled workers with the Seasonal Workers Visa and Frontier Workers Permits, but it is clear that more attractive visa options are required for foreign workers, as well as building a stronger UK workforce to employ local workers.
In the weekend’s press release, the government acknowledged that this is only a temporary measure.
“Visas will not be the long term solution, and reform within the industry is vital. That’s why the government continues to support the industry in solving this issue in the long term through improved testing and hiring, with better pay, working conditions and diversity.”
These visas will likely fall under the Temporary Workers route. So far, no further details have been released, but Woodcock Law & Notary Public will provide updates once further guidance has been released.
Ready for assistance?
If you have any questions about the changes or want legal advice, contact
Woodcock Law & Notary Public today. Contact us by phone on 0330 133 6490 or
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.