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Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL2972, tabled on 11 October 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to resolve the short-term issues to UK goods supply chains.

Answered on

25 October 2021

Businesses have faced a range of challenges over recent months as they recover from the global pandemic which has impacted supply chains across Europe and around the world.

The Government has acted quickly to introduce a series of measures to relieve pressure on vital supply chains, including by: streamlining the testing process for and creating skills bootcamps to train up HGV drivers, sending nearly one million letters to encourage HGV drivers who have left the industry to return, providing up to £7,000 per person funding for the Large Goods Vehicle Driver apprenticeship scheme, and deploying nearly 200 military tanker personnel to provide temporary support delivering fuel supplies across the country. The Government has also introduced short-term visas for food haulage drivers and poultry workers to ease pressures facing these supply chains.

On 8 October, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister appointed Sir David Lewis, former CEO of Tesco, as the UK Government’s supply chain adviser, bringing with him a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to the new role. He will advise the Prime Minister and my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on both immediate improvements and any necessary long-term changes to UK supply chains for goods, and will work with government officials to quickly resolve acute, short term issues. Successful resolution of supply chain pressures will be a joint effort between industry and Government and so Sir Dave Lewis will also co-chair the new Supply Chain Advisory Group, consisting of external experts in the field, and the new Industry Taskforce, to ensure those on the ground have the opportunity to voice their concerns and advise on the most efficient resolutions.