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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is discussing potential solutions with retailers, logistics groups and wholesalers as the shortage of lorry drivers has led industry chiefs to warn of an effect on deliveries to supermarkets this summer. The loss of up to 100,000 lorry drivers is said to be owing to both Covid-19 and Brexit-related issues.

“Truck driving in the UK has been dominated by eastern European drivers in recent years but many have returned home during the pandemic and found it difficult to return. The industry has also blamed changes to the tax treatment of drivers’ pay for damaging recruitment,” explains The Guardian.

Potential solutions to the driver shortage include relaxing restrictions on working hours and increasing capacity for HGV driving tests and training to help bring in new local drivers. Officials from Defra are also considering putting drivers on the official shortage occupation list to help make it easier to bring in workers from overseas.

The trade group Logistics UK has said almost 30% of its member firms were hunting in vain for drivers. The lack of drivers is adding to problems with worker shortages throughout the food industry, including in packaging, production facilities and warehouses.

The Guardian has the full story

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