Britain is facing severe labor shortages. One hundred thousand truck drivers are missing across the country. The gaps have been aggravated by the pandemic and Brexit. And it was precisely due to the lack of drivers in Great Britain that some gas stations were temporarily closed. We will do everything to solve this problem, there will be more truck driver exams, announced the Minister of Transport Grant Shapps on Friday.
BP has temporarily closed some of its stations because the lack of drivers makes it impossible to deliver both gasoline and diesel fuel to them. Some ExxonMobile stations at Tesco stores also do not work. Supermarket chains have also had problems with supply before, reports Bloomberg.
No truck drivers in the UK
We will move heaven and earth, we will do everything in our power to mitigate the shortage related to the lack of drivers – Shapps announced on Sky News. The minister added that the government will double the number of truck driver exams, which should quickly resolve the crisis.
According to representatives of the British transport industry, the country lacks approx. 90 thousand. truck drivers. After Great Britain left the EU, about 25 thousand people left the UK. drivers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has suspended the process of obtaining qualifications by new employees in the transport industry. Due to lockdowns, we did not conduct exams for 40,000. drivers, said Shapps.
According to some British media, the government is considering persuading soldiers to run fuel tanks as part of emergency plans. When asked about this by the BBC, the transport minister said that if it really could help, we would bring them in.
Visa restrictions for drivers
The Road Transport Association (RHA) called on the government to ease visa restrictions for foreign workers to alleviate the driver shortage. Shapps suggested that visa changes would not solve the problem, but said nothing was ruled out.
He said the bottleneck was due to qualifying new drivers and bringing people back into the labor market following the pandemic.
In recent weeks, the Department of Transportation has sped up the obtaining of a driver’s license by truck drivers, but the RHA has criticized the changes as a threat to road safety.
Bloomberg, BBC, The Guardian, PAP
Main photo source: Reuters