A letter highlighting the labour shortage in the transport sector has been drafted by a group of influential parties.
Logistics UK has participated in the letter, together with UKWA, BIFA and the Chemical Business Association.
In addition, the Cold Chain Federation and RTITB have put their support behind the concerns addressed.
The letter has been sent to Minister for Immigration, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.
Specifically, it highlights the industry’s critical labour shortage ahead of the upcoming Shortage Occupation List (SOL) review.
Furthermore, the text lays bare the issues faced by the logistics industry as a result of Covid-19 and the UK’s exit from the EU.
During the latter period, thousands of logistics workers returned to their home nations on a permanent basis.
As a result, it calls for government support in seeking both short- to medium-term solutions and also longer-term plans.
Logistics UK has long raised concerns about the lack of both skills and labour shortages in the sector.
For example, back in October 2021, a survey highlighted that the shortfall was a ‘growing concern’ for operators.
Then, in February 2022, truck driver numbers were increasing – however, a skills shortage remained.
Alexandra Herdman, senior policy manager at Logistics UK, said more action was required.
“Logistics UK is urging government to add forklift drivers, HGV drivers and warehouse operatives to the Shortage Occupation List, she said.
She cited the Skilled Worker Visa as an important route to use and also wanted to ensure that mechanics remained on the list.
Continuing, Herdman confirmed that there is currently an estimated shortage of 60,000 truck drivers in the UK.
“Industry is working hard to seek longer-terms solutions to the sector-wide shortages and recruit home-grown talent,” she added.
“However, the correct training takes time and a short to medium-term labour boost is essential.”