Driver shortage – expand the Youth Mobility Scheme

London, UK: The Road Haulage Association has fired off a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, asking her to temporarily expand the Youth Mobility Scheme to allow young people (under 30) from the EU and EEA to work in the UK. Currently the scheme is closed to EU and EEA citizens.

The scheme was set up to give young people in selected countries the opportunity to experience life in the UK, enabling them to work and travel for up to two years. The scheme is reciprocal as it allows young people from the UK to work and travel within 8 other countries included in the current agreement.

“We believe that opening the scheme to EU and EEA citizens (who have compatible qualifications in many areas such as professional lorry driving) will provide a useful and immediate contribution to mitigating the current labour shortage,” said the RHA. “It will provide businesses with a pool of qualified temporary labour that we are currently seeking.”

In addition, it would provide immediately usable access to young people, many with professional qualifications, on a temporary basis until the skills shortage gap can be rectified by stepping up the training of UK workers, adds the RHA. It is possible that between 2,000 and 4,000 qualified drivers could be attracted via this route.

The RHA also renewed its call to put skilled, qualified HGV drivers on the Shortage Occupation List.

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In the August issue of Cold Chain News, out now, Gist reveals that it is offering incentives of up to £5,000 for HGV drivers to join its business from August in order to boost capability and resources to deliver chilled foods and fresh produce. bit.ly/3z6j8Si #coldchain

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