The UK Home Office announced over the weekend that it will be introducing a visa route (amongst implementing other measures) to help ease the current shortage of HGV drivers. With full details yet to be confirmed, the announcement indicates that up to 5,000 HGV drivers (together with up to 5,500 poultry workers) will be able to apply for short term visas to enter the UK for a 3 month period between October and the end of December. It is unclear if this is a new immigration route altogether or, an extension of the current ‘temporary worker route’. In either case, the announcement makes it clear that UK employers should continue to focus on investing in the domestic workforce to drive a higher skilled economy, rather than relying on overseas labour. It is likely therefore that this is a temporary move in response to the current pressures in the industry, rather than a row back from the UK Government’s position that it would not be introducing a low skilled labour route following Brexit.
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