The UK's decision to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers is a short-term solution that will not solve the dire labor shortages that are fraught with serious disruptions for retailers ahead of Christmas, the British Road Freight Association (RHA) said Saturday. p>
A shortage of drivers is causing problems in transporting fuel from refineries to gas stations, forcing some operators to resort to closing their gas stations.
Britain is facing a shortage of nearly 100,000 truck drivers as workers leave the industry following Brexit and the pandemic that ended driver training and testing for nearly a year.
Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainable development at the British Retail Consortium, warned on Friday that the government has only 10 days to address the driver shortage.
“The 5,000 visa limit will do little to reduce the current deficit,” he said. “Supermarkets alone estimate that they need at least 15,000 truck drivers to keep their businesses running at full capacity before Christmas and avoid disruptions or availability issues.”