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    Government may review Shortage Occupation List early to ease driver shortage

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    To tackle the acute supply crisis gripping UK’s food and drink businesses, the government is considering doing an early review of its Shortage of Occupation list to address the issue of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver shortages, stated reports on Friday (27), adding that Home Office officials are not in favour of the move.

    Although a review of the Shortage of Occupation list- which sets out jobs where overseas workers can apply for visas- is not due until next year, recent reports claimed that proposals have been floated for bringing forward the review so HGV drivers can be included to ease the current problems facing the supply chain.

    However, Home Office officials are reportedly not in favour of the early review, amid concerns it may lead to other sectors demanding similar inclusion.

    “It has been floated and seems like the obvious solution but there’s been a lot of pushback from the Home Office,” a source told PA.

    Several government departments are said to be liaising over the supply chain issues, including the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department, the Home Office, the Department for Transport, the Department for Education, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

    HGV drivers are currently not included on the list but there is pressure from supermarkets to include them to help ease the shortfall.

    Government officials are also said to be working closely with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to increase the number of tests taking place and have vowed to streamline the process, reports said, adding that the government has also increased funding for apprentices to get more workers into the industry since it wants to ensure that Britain becomes less reliant on overseas drivers.

    There is currently a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK, as per Road Haulage Association.

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