// UK government turns blind eye on granting temporary working visas to HGV drivers from Europe
// The driver shortage has affected retailers’ supply chains over the last few months
The UK government has rejected industry calls to issue temporary visas to European truck drivers in an effort reduce shortages.
The driver shortage has affected retailers’ supply chains over the last few months.
Ministers rejected pleas from logistics and retail trade bodies for it to grant temporary working visas to heavy goods vehicle drivers from Europe.
However, the government said it accepted the need to look at offering more training courses to ease the shortage.
The effects of the ongoing shortage were highlighted in a joint letter to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng by trade bodies Logistics UK and the BRC.
They estimated that there was currently a shortfall of about 90,000 HGV drivers in the UK that was placing “increasingly unsustainable pressure on retailers and their supply chains”.
“The impact of the driver shortage is already being felt, with many businesses struggling to get goods into distribution centres and depots and — in some cases — into shops, with ramifications for consumer choice,” the bodies said.
The two bodies also warned the government the situation was likely to get worse before it gets better, citing a demand for goods increasing with the start of the new school year, employees returning to workplaces and the build-up to Christmas.
They also called for special government skills and training schemes, as well as providing additional staff at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.