Immigration: Expert Calls for Short-Term Solution to Solve Christmas Shortages | United Kingdom | New

James Bielby of the Federation of Wholesalers has demanded that UK immigration rules be relaxed for 12 months to address the problem of heavy truck drivers and various shortages of seasonal workers currently causing chaos in Britain as the prospect of empty shelves at Christmas becomes more likely.

Mr Bielby told LBC how a shortage of food processing workers for heavy truck drivers threatens to worsen food shortages, from turkeys to pigs in blankets, and will be noticed in stores.

He acknowledged that the government had addressed these labor shortages by launching our 5,500 temporary three-month work visas, but insisted that more must be done to save Christmas.

And in an honest admission, he said the UK “really needs” “more immigration in the short term”.

He added: “Not for three months but maybe for 12 months, and not 5,000 workers, maybe 20,000 workers.”

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He said the figure would mean foreign workers could come to Britain and “fix the real structural problems” currently plaguing several industries.

The distribution expert added that while no one denies that there are structural problems, “short-term measures” must be put in place “to deliver Christmas and beyond”.

Mr Bielby stressed that despite government efforts to fill the labor shortage, “not a single driver” will be in the UK until November.

He noted that by then the deadline for Christmas planning and logistics operations has long passed, which he says usually starts in September.

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According to the Road Haulage Association, there is now a shortage of over 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK.

The shortages also sparked a gasoline panic in Britain, as the lack of drivers delivering gasoline led to a supply chain collapse, spurred by panic from British buyers who stormed the forecourt to refuel following the news.

Labor shortages from the pandemic, Brexit and lack of foreign workers are also causing problems in UK supply chains, which have also pushed up food prices as fears rise on empty shelves as Britain draws closer to Christmas.

It comes as an agricultural haulage company told Radio 4’s Today show last week that Brits could see a 40% increase in food prices as carriers hike drivers’ fares to keep them in. their jobs and attract new drivers to the industry.

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