SBPA calls for intervention on driver shortages

THE Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has called for HGV drivers to be added to the UK Government’s Shortage Occupation List – allowing companies to recruit drivers from overseas.

The call comes as supply chain issues cause problems for premises across Scotland, and after the Scottish Hospitality Group made a similar request for the wider hospitality industry.

The SBPA said that the driver shortage is being felt particularly in Scotland, with the shortfall in drivers “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,” said SBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin.

“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.”