In a bid to ease the chronic staff shortage, the British government announced on Saturday that it will issue 10,500 temporary work visas to lorry drivers and poultry workers.
The development is being termed a U-turn on post-Brexit immigration policy as earlier Prime Minister Boris Johnson tightened the rules and insisted that Britain’s reliance on foreign labor must end.
The country was facing a huge shortfall in drivers and some other key workers that affected fuel supplies and additional industries. As a result, it was decided to issue short-term visas to lorry drivers and poultry workers from October until late December.
Due to shortage of tanker drivers, large queues were witnessed at petrol stations in recent days, as people ignored the government’s pleas not to panic-buy fuel after some garages closed because of lack of deliveries.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said, “The industries must also play their part with working conditions continuing to improve and the deserved salary increases continuing to be maintained in order for companies to retain new drivers”.
However, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, Ruby McGregor-Smith, said, “This announcement is the equivalent of throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire”.
“The additional testing would take time to impact while new visa numbers were insufficient and not enough to address the scale of the problem,” she added.