“The driver shortage has resulted in a dependence on agency and particularly foreign drivers that goes beyond what is needed to cope with seasonal variations and is now necessary to sustain normal operation. The dependence on agency staff means that operators in the sector are probably not investing enough in their staff. We think this creates two risks that need to be managed. First, if the UK becomes relatively less attractive as a place for foreign drivers to work, as it may do as the consequences of Brexit play out, the shortage could become much more acute, possibly quite rapidly. Second, the longer-term sustainability of the UK’s road haulage sector could be undermined if there is not a steady stream of people through the sector gaining the skills and experience that they need to become transport managers and operators” (…) “Both the industry and Government have taken steps to address the shortage. None of these are on a scale likely to deliver the number of drivers needed. The road haulage sector, supported by the Government, needs to take further steps to:
meet any shortage and reduce dependence on foreign drivers (about 60,000 drivers);
meet any predicted growth in demand; and
deal with the demographic time-bomb (about 75,000 drivers by 2020)” (Parliament.uk – ‘Skills and workforce planning in the road haulage sector’ 27.07.2016).
Sometimes you wonder if the Tories and the Cabinet Secretaries are so forgetful. You can wonder, if they care about warnings and red signs. The Brexit referendum would clearly target the haulage industry. As it is dependent on European Union citizens with license and ability to drive heavy-goods driver (HGV).
The Tories have offered a three month visa parley to everyone they sent packing after the Brexit was issued. The European Union Haulage Unions have dismissed this offer. They are saying they can easily be used, but sent straight back without any consideration for work. Therefore, the EU HGV drivers will not return to save Christmas in the United Kingdom.
Yes, the government gave this “amnesty” or ability during the weekend. At the same time it has put in regulations that all vehicles and lorries who is going into EU from the UK has to take-off their stickers with GB and change that to UK. That is actually something they have done. Just like changing colour on the passport. It is symbolic changes, but not what industries need in these dire times.
The Tories and the Downing Street needs to focus on. They are not securing the livelihoods of the HGV drivers. Neither has it made efforts or done anything for the foreseeable future. They are instead trying to patch up the hurt without any real reform for the transport sector. Which is needed to cope with the lack of trained personnel, salaries or even long-term prospects to work in the haulage industry.
The UK needs the EU HGV drivers to be able to cope. That is why we are seeing again the possibility of the army to do logistics in the Kingdom. Since, the Tories haven’t secured or made it possible for others to cover needs, which is clearly there. The Tories cannot even come with sound judgement or policies, which will make it feasible for the grandstanding departure of previous drivers to return. These will not return when they are getting pennies on the pound and working in crappy conditions while staying in UK. It is not like Boris Johnson or any of his cadre will humiliate themselves in the same regard. No, they rather spend vacations in Caribbean and hope someone else fixes the problems they created.
The Tories haven’t secure the basics. That’s why the supermarkets lacks produce and commodities, why farmers lack’s personnel to pick and secure their produce to market and finally lack of drivers to deliver the needed things across the Kingdom. The Tories haven’t given incentives or prospects for anyone then themselves.
The lack of drivers isn’t only the fault of Brexit alone. It is a systemic fault of a incompetent government. Who is all about publicity, but not about proper policies. This is why it is happening. The fuel-shortage and the empty shelves in the supermarkets says it all. It is not the fault of the public, but the politicians that promised heaven. However, they haven’t delivered the golden gates, but instead showed a little piece of hell.
Kudos to the Tories for failing in such a manner. They will blame anyone else and even say it’s the public own faults for buying petrol. The Tories will go after the companies itself, than look into own misgivings. Because that’s what they do.
What is extra tragic here is that they knew this could be amplified and gotten worse by the efforts of Brexit. However, the state didn’t act upon or take in-consideration the needs of the haulage industry. Therefore, the Tories who was in power the whole time could have made things possible, but clearly they never did. Peace.