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Minister urges firms to invest in UK-based workers in HGV driver shortage

Business secretary reported as saying foreign labour only offers ‘temporary solution’ as companies face supply chain crisis

Employers have been told to invest in UK-based workers rather than relying on labour from abroad as supermarkets and suppliers struggle to contend with a chronic shortage of lorry drivers caused by the exodus of hauliers from EU countries because of Brexit and Covid.

The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, wrote to business leaders on Friday saying foreign labour only offered “a short-term, temporary solution” after industry groups, Logistics UK and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) called on the department to provide temporary UK visas to EU truck drivers. They said the lack of drivers was “increasingly putting unsustainable pressure on retailers and their supply chains”.

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