Well it has certainly been quite a week here in the UK so we thought we would take a moment to look back and try to make sense of it all. Let`s start with the shortage of HGV drivers which is an issue that is causing enormous issues in the supply chain.
Differing Viewpoints Over The HGV Crisis
Remainers will point to the fact that now we are not using foreign nationals to take up these sort of jobs there was inevitably going to be a shortage of drivers, for at least a few months and certainly in the run up to Christmas. Brexit leavers will point out that there is also a shortage of HGV drivers in many other countries across Europe, as the world gets back onto its feet after the Covid-19 pandemic.
One thing I think we can probably all agree on is that, with the government issuing 5,000 short term visas to foreign workers for the next few months, this is not going to be anywhere near enough as estimates suggest we are around 100,000 HGV drivers short. Also these workers will be unlikely to be in place for another two months, so the shortage of drivers is something that could be with us for some time.
HGV Sector Needs Better Working Conditions
The HGV sector as a whole does need to provide the right working conditions to attract more people into the business. It is all well and good raising wages, which is what seems to be happening at the moment, but there also needs to be better toilet facilities, more secure overnight compounds and acceptable working hours to really make a difference to a HGV drivers daily life.
The HGV driver crisis has also led to the fuel pump crisis, as there is not enough fuel getting to the forecourts due to a lack of drivers. As people panic and start to fill their tank this has made the shortage acute. The public need to listen to the advice and only fill up their car when they need to do so, otherwise this crisis is going to run and run.
Shortage Of Gas A Concern Too
Finally we have the gas shortage, with many energy companies going into liquidation as the price of wholesale gas rockets. The situation in Northern Ireland isn`t quite so bad as in England, Scotland and Wales as we do not rely on gas as much as they do. However this is something that is of huge concern, particularly to people with low incomes as they will see their fuel prices rise over the next few months. Let us hope this can be addresses as soon as possible.