The shortage of labour in the UK continues post Brexit and this time it could have an impact on Christmas. The government has had to act fast to tackle the shortage of HGV drivers and poultry workers, but is it little too late?
Temporary Visa Scheme
The government has announced temporary visas to be added to existing visas schemes that will begin in October for 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers to attempt to ease the supply chain burdens both in the haulage and food industries. The UK Visas and Immigration are preparing to ensure visas are processed promptly that will be valid until 24 December 2021.
This move aims to ensure HGV drivers will be able to come to the UK for three months in the run-up to Christmas, providing short-term relief for the haulage industry and that farmers and food producers have access to the necessary workforce to mitigate any potential risks to Christmas food supply - something UK food and drink manufacturers have been asking for over the last few months.
Temporary visa are not a long term solution and are part of government’s package in an attempt to resolve an existing problem that has been aggravated by both Covid and Brexit. How the visa scheme will work in practice and whether a temporary visa will in fact relieve the pressure on supply chains just before the festivities, will no doubt be revealed over the upcoming weeks.
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