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‘5,000 visas will make little impact,’ says CBA

The Chemical Business Association (CBA) has welcomed the Government’s latest initiatives to manage the impact of the supply chain emergency that is delaying or preventing vital materials from reaching customers in the manufacturing and process industries.
There are ongoing issues still to be resolved and clarity is required in relation to the workability of the Government’s measures and in developing a long-term strategy to the chronic HGV driver shortage, the CBA said.
Tim Doggett, CEO of the CBA, said: “As an industry, we have called for HGV drivers to be included on the Shortage Occupation list, so we welcome the Government’s movement on this issue. But 5,000 visas will make little impact between now and Christmas on the UK shortage of up to 100,000 HGV drivers. It is too little, too late.
“Drivers of vehicles carrying chemicals or fuel which are dangerous goods must hold an ADR qualification, and additionally for the carriage of fuel a Petroleum Drivers Passport (PDP). Fuel drivers also require specific safety training covering loading at refineries and for deliveries to depots or garage forecourts. Both qualifications and safety training take time to complete. This does not seem to have been considered by the current measures.
“The UK is unlikely to be attractive to foreign drivers that have understandably elected to be with their families because of a combination of COVID-19 and Brexit. In addition, conditions of services and roadside facilities for drivers are better on the Continent. Finally, Europe is experiencing its own shortage of HGV drivers. Shortages of 400,000 HGV drivers are being quoted for Europe as a whole and 120,000 for Poland alone.”




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