Why can’t investing in British workers solve the country’s labor crisis?

One of the largest lobbying business groups in the United Kingdom has responded to government advice to invest in British workers to deal with the deep labor crisis caused by Brexit and the pandemic, reports The Guardian. According to the representatives of the target business, this move cannot solve the short-term shortage of labor, which is increasingly burdening retailers and supply chains.

Representing a huge number of business organizations, The Institute of Directors (IoD) is calling for new, flexible visas to allow foreign workers to work in the UK, in key sectors of the economy such as transport.. According to the business, it is vital for truck drivers to be able to work even after their visas have expired.

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“Of course, British businesses need to invest in skills in the local workforce, but this simply cannot be a solution in the short term to labor market shortages,” said Roger Barker, IoD’s director of policy.

“The government needs to take a more pragmatic approach, including a more flexible visa regime that eases at least some of the current pressure on business,” he added.

Lack of truck drivers, partly because of the crisis caused by Covid-19, partly because of Brexit, is already putting strong pressure on British supply chains and has led some retailers, fast food chains and supermarkets to struggle with how to replenish their stocks.

Last week, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said stock prices in August had fallen to their lowest level since retail trends had been around for nearly four decades. McDonald’s left without milkshakes, and Nando’s was forced to close 50 stores, due to staff shortages.

Deficit: Shakes and soft drinks have disappeared from McDonald's in the UK

Deficit: Shakes and soft drinks have disappeared from McDonald’s in the UK

Weeks ago, there were empty shelves in the supermarkets on the Island

The collapse in supply is due to labor shortages in several key industrial sectors. This has forced companies to increase salaries to attract staff. One example is the Waitrose transport company, which is now willing to pay £ 53,538 a year for truck drivers, in excess of the salaries of some of their head office managers.

Industry groups, including Logistics UK and the British Retail Consortium, have also called on the government to grant temporary visas for the UK to EU truck drivers to help solve the problem. Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng responded by saying employers should invest in UK-based staff instead of relying on foreign labor., especially given that British workers may be left without financial support after the state ‘s paid leave program ended on 30 September.

Job vacancies in the UK have reached a record high

Job vacancies in the UK have reached a record high

This comes against a background of staff shortages

Other industry representatives, such as the CBI and the Small Business Federation (FSB), warn that staff shortages could put the economic recovery after Covid-19 at risk.

“From truck drivers to hoteliers, from skilled food workers to construction experts, there is no doubt that staff shortages are putting severe pressure on the country’s recovery from the pandemic“, said CBI Chief Political Officer Matthew Fell.

The number of managers of small companies, who also say that the shortage of qualified staff hinders their work and even leads them to bankruptcy, continues to increase.

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