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Driver shortages see McDonald’s run out of milkshake

By Chris Dawson August 24, 2021 - 11:05 am

If you are popping into McDonald’s for lunch today you might be disappointed as they’ve not only run out of milkshakes but there’s also a shortage of bottled drinks across their 1,250 restaurants in the UK. The company have put this down to driver shortages. This follows the news last week that Nandos ran out of chicken and had to close around 50 outlets.

Driver shortages isn’t an issue which is only going to interrupt restaurants, customers at retailers including supermarkets are also finding gaps on the shelves and it doesn’t bode well for online retail as the busy Q4 season will soon be upon us. Couriers will face the problem of drivers shortages as they start the annual task of delivering Christmas.

The growing problem of driver shortages is estimated by the Road Haulage Association to be a shortfall of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK and is starting to be a real problem that is impacting consumers rather than just being a problem for businesses. It’s partly a Brexit issue due to drivers unable to exercise freedom of movement which has been compounded by the pandemic with drivers having to self isolate… plus it can take up to nine months to train a driver and that hasn’t exactly been easy during lockdown and other Coronavirus restrictions.

Logistics UK is calling on the UK government to grant 10,000 temporary work visas so that EU drivers can return to work in the UK’s supply chain. It says the move would help to keep retailers, schools and other businesses stocked with the goods they need. The organisation’s analysis of the second quarter ONS Labour Force Survey found that 14,000 EU HGV drivers left UK driving jobs in the year to June 2020, and only 600 had returned by the end of June.

“The EU workers who left the UK in the year ending June 2020, ahead of Brexit, were critical to the supply chain’s resilience, and we are now starting to see the impact that their departure has had on supplies to businesses, retailers, homes and schools. The industry is working hard to recruit new drivers, with the implementation of new apprenticeships and other training schemes, and working with DVSA to speed up its testing regime, but these measures will take some time to produce new drivers. Our industry needs drivers now, and we are urging government to replicate its temporary visa scheme, introduced for agricultural workers, for logistics to keep trucks and vans moving in the short term.”
– Alex Veitch, general manager of public policy, Logistics UK

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme has permitted up to 30,000 individuals to come to the UK on a so called T5 visa to work in agriculture for up to six months, and Logistics UK is pressing government to replicate the scheme for logistics workers. Currently, eight different short term work visa schemes are in place, for including for creative, sports and religious employees, as well as seasonal workers. None of these can be used for HGV drivers and Logistics UK says this needs to change and fast!

  • Haribo
    3 months ago

    The UK made their bed, now they can lie in it. BoJo and his cronies have been lying for years now, just to get their hands on the reigns of power. Now they have it, they don’t know what to do with them. I’m sure Britain will survive without Nando’s (South African) or McDonald’s (US) for a while.

  • Sandi
    3 months ago

    Nobody is lying. Only 5 year olds or low intelligence leftie adults say such juvenile words.

    The reasons we have a lack of driver s(if you actually read the haulage association letter to the government) are 5 fold

    COVID. IR35. Brexit. Retiring drivers. Test shortages.
    Only 10% of drivers are fork the EU.
    Lots went “home” due to lockdown.
    We can’t now get new drivers fast as rest centres were locked down. IR35 made people leave the industry. (It pushes wages up, IR35 is an abomination we can thank Theresa May for)

    Many reasons. Brexit is a small part of the overall issue. The government just need a temporary visa scheme as the article says.
    A handful of missing products and certainly not nutritional disgraces like milkshakes isn’t going to materially affect anyone badly. No need to get all toxic about Haribo.

  • Diane Linda Hunter
    3 months ago

    Does it really matter. I see my shops full of what I need to live.People here need jobs and I think you need to go back in history to learn more about how the continental drivers work and took contracts from companies here. It is what it should be all about.
    Bringing it home.

  • Toby
    3 months ago

    Oh i wondered when the old ‘blame brexit’ record would be rolled out. Traffic bad today? blame brexit. hole in your sock? blame brexit….
    The facts are that the lorry driver shortage has been building for years. Not just in UK buy globally. Yes there is a shortage in the EU too!
    The problem is that it just hasn’t been seen a good career by many young people. This has been echoed by the haulage association for a good few years now. The issue is that as many of the older drivers retire, not enough new one have joined to replace them.
    Then there is covid… many EU drivers went home because of this, and have been either stuck there because of it, or prefering to stay incase it gets bad again.
    Add to that the massive delay in processing new driver tests ( 30k missed last year alone) and you have huge problem already.
    Oh and of course, yes Brexit will have added a small amount to.
    However when you actually research rather than just blindly blame brexit as the ‘superior intellect’ pro eu moaners often do, you see the picture is as always very complex…
    Although allowing more eu drivers in seems to be contray to the spirit of brexit, in this case the situation is unique and as we are free of the shackles we should exploit our flexibility and grant temp visas. After all the situation is not suddenly going to be sorted over night with new drivers is it? That is just common sense.
    One thing i have noticed though… is alot of talk in alot of industries of wages rises as companies now have limited access to cheap labour. Damn brexit. driving up wages.
    Still, who needs facts? Lets just use it as an excuse to throw stones like kids.

  • J
    3 months ago

    My local Tesco didn’t have most lines of milk or bottled water for two weeks which really surprised me. They said the same problem, not enough drivers so they didn’t receive a delivery.

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