UK launches temporary visa scheme for truck drivers to meet supply crisis
The United Kingdom (UK) is ready to issue 10,500 short-term visas for foreign truck drivers and poultry workers at least until Christmas 2021.
Long lines have been forming at gas stations in the UK for days due to a shortage of truck drivers to dispense product at the pumps.
A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, the inability to train new truck drivers due to COVID-19 restrictions, Brexit and the low wages offered to truck drivers across Europe has exacerbated problems in the fuel supply chain in the United Kingdom, causing days of panic buying.
According to a statement from the UK Department for Transport, 5,000 truck drivers are needed to work in the UK for three months in the run-up to Christmas to provide “short-term relief for the transport industry.”
About 5,500 poultry workers will also be included in the visa program to “avoid potential further pressure on the food industry during this exceptional period.”
The U.K. government says recruitment of additional short-term truck drivers and poultry workers will begin in October, with visas valid until Christmas Eve.
Army drivers have been placed on standby to help ease the crisis in the United Kingdom. There is also a shortage of truck drivers to deliver gasoline and food throughout Europe.