“Change in droves”: shortage of bus drivers in Great Britain

A number of British bus drivers are currently deciding to switch to the logistics industry due to better wages, as the British broadcaster “Sky News” reported on Sunday. The emigration goes back to the blatant shortage of truck drivers, which let the wages rise in the industry, said Bobby Morton of the individual union Unite opposite the broadcaster.

Like truck drivers, bus drivers would have long shifts and not enough toilets and sanitary facilities. “So now people think if we have to keep working under these Victorian conditions, then we can drive a truck for £ 20 an hour instead of a bus for £ 10 an hour,” said the unionist.

4,000 drivers are missing

Bus drivers would therefore “switch to the other industry in droves,” according to unionist Morton. “The logistics sector is currently literally throwing money around to compensate for the bottlenecks”, the boss of the bus company Trentbarton, Jeff Counsell, was quoted by “Sky News” as saying. The logisticians could pass the costs on to the consumers, in the bus industry that is not possible, so Counsel.

As a result of this development, according to the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, there is currently a shortage of around 4,000 bus drivers. It was said that connections would already be lost on some routes as a result. The Ministry of Transport said it had already accelerated the procedures for driving tests and provisional bus driving licenses.

No further relaxation in sight

The serious shortage of truck drivers has caused significant problems in the UK over the past few weeks. A number of petrol stations were left on dry land because the fuel could not be transported to them. Supermarket shelves also remained partially empty.

Many drivers from the EU returned to their home countries during the pandemic and will not be able to easily live and work in the UK again after Brexit. The government issued temporary visas to alleviate the situation and let the military help out. However, there is no real easing of the situation in sight.

The lack of care is also becoming increasingly acute

But there is also a shortage of staff in other sectors as a result of Brexit, according to a report by the “Observer” (Sunday edition), the lack of care in Great Britain has worsened significantly. Above all, disabled people who need help with everyday tasks have problems finding appropriate nurses, as the “Observer” reported.

“We usually recruit more than 100 (nurses) a year. Now it’s around 50, ”said Peter Henry of Origin, an organization that recruits nurses. The situation has worsened dramatically since July. Henry attributes this to the end of the application period for the “Settlement Scheme”. The program is intended to give EU citizens who lived in the country before Brexit largely the same rights as before.

No personal compensation by the British possible

After Brexit, employees from the EU will otherwise no longer be able to work in the UK without a visa. This must be approved by an employer. According to the organizations, many of the caregivers who live with and care for the disabled come from abroad. In the meantime, applications have to be rejected on a regular basis, says Peter Henry.

Katy Etherington, who runs the database for personal care workers (PA Pool), also told the newspaper that British applicants could not make up for the lack of continental European workers. The organization Disabled People Against Cuts had already asked the government months ago to introduce more flexible immigration rules for the industry. The government has so far refused.

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