UK To Give 5000 Temporary Working Visas To Solve Driver Shortages

UK To Give 5000 Temporary Working Visas To Solve Driver Shortages

UK To Give 5000 Temporary Working Visas To Solve Driver Shortages

Ministers will confirm on Sunday that 5000 temporary UK working visas will be issued to foreign lorry drivers to help fill job vacancies which are causing fuel and food shortages.

It is understood that the scheme will run for three months and be capped at 5000 visas. Some will see this as a U-turn for the government’s Brexit principle of controlling our borders and cutting immigration to boost jobs and pay for British workers.

The visa scheme is unlikely to fix the estimated shortage of around 100,000 drivers. Setting up the visa scheme and recruit and training the drivers will take several weeks, if not months, and there is also a shortage of 400,000 drivers in Europe.

One option to deal with the immediate problem would be to deploy HGV driver from the Army.

Yesterday, UK Environment Secretary has confirmed that the government is weighing up options on how to deal with growing labour shortages in the food sector.

George Eustice said the government was considering whether changes could be made to the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ Scheme (SAWS) – the temporary working visa quota-based scheme that allows farmers to recruit overseas for seasonal jobs.

Trade bodies have warned of panic-buying and food shortages this Christmas unless urgent action is taken to address the lack of staff and thousands of job vacancies in the UK.

Some blame the shortages on Covid and Brexit, but staff shortages in developed countries have been building up for years.

Mr Eustice said “the reality that there is an acute labour shortage at the moment across the UK economy”.

The real issue is that after decades of outsourcing our manufacturing and back-office services to countries such as China, India and The Philippines, the UK now has a major skills shortage gap.

The SAWS scheme allowed 30,000 temporary workers to admitted to the UK this year to fill job vacancies in agriculture – mostly working on fruit and vegetable farms. Migrants have long filled farming jobs, like picking and packing of produce, that British workers refuse to do.

There are over a million people unemployed in the UK, 5 million on some sort of universal credit benefit and 600,000 still on the job retention furlough scheme – paying employers to have staff sitting at home months after the economy has reopened.

When asked if he would be looking at changes to visas to address workforce shortages, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday: “If that was actually the solution, I’m sure we would move to it quickly and I don’t rule out anything.”

500,000 unfilled agricultural job vacancies

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has called for another emergency visa to allow firms to recruit from outside the UK.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he does “not believe people will be short of food” this autumn and winter, amid reports of some gaps on supermarket shelves.

Referring to an earlier NFU report, Ms Batters said that there were an estimated 500,000 unfilled vacancies in the industry.

Due to labour shortages, some farmers have resorted to giving fruit and vegetables away rather than let it rot in their fields.

As the crisis grows and the public starts to panic, an ominous “saviour” to human labour shortages is conveniently waiting in the wings; AI technology.

FEDEX is running a trial of its DRIVERLESS TRUCKS from Dallas to Houston. If successful, the company says it could roll out driverless deliver vehicles as early as 2023.

Over 3 million truck drivers are employed in America and millions more van driver, taxi. Uber has its own plans for getting rid of those pesky human drivers who are taking them to court in several countries for unfair pay terms.

China already has driverless busses and taxis and Amazon is testing drone delivers.

Could the furlough scheme (due to end this month in the UK) to pay people to stay at home watching Netflix be a trial run for Universal Basic Income (UBI) when tens of millions of jobs are replaced by robots?

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