Ministers warned

Labour shortages ‘could last two years’ says CBI

Britain said to be short of 100,000 HGV drivers

Britain’s labour shortages could last for up to two years and will not be solved by the end of the Job Retention Scheme, ministers have been warned.

The CBI says shortages range across the economy from scaffolders and carpenters, to skilled workers in butchery and electrical engineering.

A shortage of drivers in the logistics sector is also disrupting supply chains in everything from food and health to utilities. The shortage of HGV drivers is estimated to have grown from 60,000 to over 100,000.

Tony Danker, the group’s director-general, said that waiting for shortages to solve themselves is not the way to run an economy.

“The CBI has heard from companies actively cutting capacity because they can’t meet demand,  like the hoteliers limiting the number of bookable rooms because they don’t have enough housekeeping staff and can’t get linen laundered.

Tony Danker: Labour shortages are biting right across the economy’

“Some restaurant owners have had to choose between lunchtime and evening services when trying to make the most of summer.  

“Let’s be clear – employers back existing government schemes to get people back into work. And businesses are already spending significant amounts on training, but that takes time to yield results, and some members suggest it could take two years rather than a couple of months for labour shortages to be fully eliminated. 

“We need to simultaneously address short term economic needs and long-term economic reform.” 

Mr Danker said using existing levers under the UK’s control – like placing drivers, welders, butchers and bricklayers on the shortage occupation list – could make a real difference.

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