The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has reiterated calls for HGV drivers to be added to the shortage occupation list or at the very least a temporary visa system put in place with immediate effect to ease the delivery problems plaguing licensees. It says that HGV driver shortage was being felt particularly hard in Scotland, but that brewers, pub operators and logistics partners are working round the clock to fulfil as many deliveries as possible.
It reiterated that the entire food and drink sector – as well as many other sectors – were all struggling with the same HGV driver shortage and that brewers large and small have struggled to fulfil orders, with managed pub estates, leased and tenanted pubs and the independent free trade having all struggled with deliveries.
Said Emma McClarkin (pictured), Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, “From large brewers and managed pub operators, to smaller breweries, leased and tenanted pubs and the independent free trade, the HGV driver shortage is affecting the entirety of our sector.
“As a sector we are working with third-party logistics partners around the clock to ensure as many deliveries as possible. Brewers are actively looking at ways they can still do deliveries as are pub operators trying to get supplies to tenants and lessees.
“It is a testament to the resilience of our sector that it is going all out to fulfil deliveries, while brands like Nando’s are simply closing.
“Whilst we are grateful for Government engagement to date on the issue of the driver shortage, it is clear the immediate situation will not be rectified without their intervention.
“Adding HGV drivers to the shortage occupation list or temporary visas will be is essential to helping stabilise the current situation and help us at this critical time in our recovery.”