To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many of the 10,500 temporary visas the Government has offered to hauliers and food poultry workers.
10 December 2021
Under an emergency temporary visa scheme agreed with the Home Office this autumn 5500 visas for poultry workers and 4700 visas for HGV drivers delivering food were made available ahead of Christmas 2021. The scheme for poultry workers closed on 15 November 2021 and the scheme for food sector HGV drivers closed on 1 December 2021.
Details of the numbers of temporary work visas granted for poultry workers and HGV drivers in food distribution will be published in the usual way via the Home Office’s quarterly immigration statistics.
On 1 October, the Home Office also stood up at pace an emergency visa scheme for HGV drivers in the fuels supply sector. This arrangement permitted fully licenced and qualified drivers, identified by the fuel transport sector and endorsed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to take up employment in the UK on a temporary basis. The arrangement closed on 15 October 2021.
The rapid deployment of this arrangement necessitated those applications for leave to enter be considered at the border, and as a result this group is not discretely captured within Home Office data.
These were emergency, temporary visa scheme measures. We are looking at ways to help both the poultry sector and road haulage sectors recruit more domestic labour to support the overall aim of reducing the sector’s dependency on seasonal migrant labour.