Temporary visas for more than 10,000 foreign workers ahead of Christmas - 10 things you said
More than 10,000 foreign workers will be temporarily permitted to work as lorry drivers and in the food sector as ministers look to rescue Christmas from supply shortages.
A temporary visa scheme will see opportunities created for 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers to take up employment in the UK until Christmas Eve, in a bid to keep supermarket shelves stocked with turkeys and toys and counter delivery difficulties at petrol stations.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the changes, with the visas available from next month, would “ensure preparations remain on track” for the festive season.
The announcement proved to be a big talking point on our Facebook page. Here's what you said...
Chris Titch Dudley: "There’s a shortage of drivers because this country has systematically downgraded the job HGV drivers do, with so many restrictions on where drivers can take breaks, park the vehicles overnight."
Carolyn Morris: "What European lorry driver would give up his job to come here for three months on a temporary contract? Not many."
Mark Stubley: "Please Europe… we need some more. After all the chest puffing and talk of prospering after Brexit, embarrassing."
Dion Smith: "There are already 70.000 HGV license holders in the UK not driving. But the wages have gone so low and the working arrangements are so risky, less people are willing to fill the positions."
Richard Bell: "Why not look after our own and train more HGV drivers with the government scheme?"
Tony Norman: "But the Tories keep telling us it’s not Brexit as there’s a driver shortage all over the EU. So where are these drivers going to come from?"
Amz Whiteley: "Unemployment rate sky high but yet international workers get extended visas. Embarrassing to be honest."
Graham Lacey: "This goes to prove that there’s a good proportion of unemployed in the UK don’t want or need to work..."
Martin Stothard: "How many are actually going to come to the UK for three months, and after that then what?"
Edith Davison: "There are plenty of army drivers capable to step in temporarily, why bring in foreign labour?"
Got something to say on this topic or another issue? Send your letters to [email protected] or write to The Editor, Readers' Letters, Yorkshire Evening Post, No 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE.
Please keep letters to a maximum of 300 words. Letters cannot be published without a name and postal address. We also ask letter writers to include a daytime phone number if possible. We reserve the right to edit any letter prior to publication.