Temporary visas for foreign workers set to be issued “immediately”

The UK government is set to issue temporary visas and extend existing visas for foreign workers in a bid to alleviate some of the supply issues the nation is currently facing.

300 temporary visas are being issued to foreign fuel drivers allowing them to work in the UK until the end of March 2022.

Almost 5,000 foreign workers in the food haulage industry will see their visas extended to the end of February. Additionally, over 5,000 visas for foreign workers in the poultry industry have had their expiry extended from Christmas eve to the end of February amid fears of a turkey shortage this Christmas.

But the government said temporary visas were not a long-term solution and urged firms to invest in a UK workforce.

Trade association Logistics UK estimates that the UK is in need of about 90,000 HGV drivers – with existing shortages made worse by a number of factors, including the pandemic, Brexit, an ageing workforce, and low wages and poor working conditions.