The United Kingdom has launched a special visa scheme for immigrant lorry drivers, farmers and poultry workers as the country faces labour shortages.
UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, says the scheme would ease the effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s haulage and food industry.
The UK is presently suffering a severe shortage of lorry and fuel tanker drivers, which has disrupted fuel and goods deliveries. Supermarkets and petrol stations have complained over low supply due to the unavailability of lorry drivers to deliver fuel and goods.
According to the BBC, lengthy queues were spotted in some petrol stations on Sunday morning in London while other stations put up signposts saying they had no fuel.
There are reports that the shortage of truck drivers was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an ageing workforce, Brexit, low income and poor working conditions. And the situation may worsen with Christmas festivities in view.
To solve the shortage of truck drivers, the UK government is now offering three months visas to drivers from Nigeria and other nationalities. More than 10,000 drivers and poultry workers are to be recruited ahead of Christmas to avert disruption in the deliveries of fuel and other goods.
The recruitment process starts in October, and successful applicants would work in the UK until Christmas Eve when their visas expire.