Britain has launched a new mobile recruitment service to address the shortage of drivers needed for the massive construction of the new $27 billion Crossrail railway.
The Office of Fair Trading, which is bringing the service to London, said that foreign truckers will be eligible for 10,000 “entry permits” for up to six months starting in mid-June. The visas are scheduled to expire in mid-September, while staff undergo training before they can begin driving on the roads of London.
The new scheme, dubbed the “Long-Term Local Solutions Apprenticeship,” will offer training for foreign workers at a London employment bureau and foreign employers, which are asked to submit an application to a cross-government communications network before the visa application. The workers will then be paid a daily salary and housed at a local hostel for approximately four months, while their visa is in effect.
The push to shore up construction-related jobs in Britain has become an increasing thorn in the country’s side as Brexit approaches. Prime Minister Theresa May’s “Plan B” for the country’s negotiations with the European Union has focused on increasing the infrastructure and transportation jobs it brings. This plan has concerned those citizens who depend on global trade and foreign investment, who feel that their jobs are at risk under the government’s pro-Brexit stance.
The prime minister argues that the country needs to strengthen domestic industry, adding that the extension of the Crossrail will create more than 32,000 jobs, generate more than $14 billion in taxes and improve traffic congestion in London by up to 80 percent.
The new visas have raised concerns among British truckers, many of whom believe that foreign truckers are ancillary to the economy, making temporary jobs as they drive the goods to and from the supermarket and medical center rather than useful career moves for workers.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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