Sir Keir Starmer reiterated his call for greater urgency by the government to address the shortage of drivers before visiting a trucking training center.
The Labor leader dismissed a recently announced government announcement to increase the number of places in an accelerated “Skills Boot Camp” by 2,000 to 5,000 in order to increase the number of truck drivers as “sticky plaster”.
He urged the government to take stronger measures “before another Christmas is ruined by Tory’s failure”.
Before visiting a trucking training company on Tuesday, he said, “The trucking company is trying to save Christmas, get medical supplies where it’s needed and keep our forecourt open while the government is absent with its measures.
This government must break the habit of its decade in power by acting with the necessary urgency before another Christmas celebration is ruined by Tory’s failure
“This is a crisis that was made on Downing Street but has so far been mopped up by companies and workers.
“The industry has warned they will need 15,000 additional drivers just to meet the Christmas shipments that a sticky bootcamp program simply won’t deliver.
“This government must break the habit of its decade in power by acting with the necessary urgency before another Christmas is ruined by Tory’s failure.
“Ministers need to listen to the industry to build a safe trucking workforce, outline how they are going to attract people to training, including Labor’s plan to create more apprenticeships, and ultimately how they are going to pay and conditions for this vital sector. “
A government spokesman said, “We have taken immediate action to increase the number of truck drivers available to support the fuel and food supply chains – streamline the testing process, allow fuel companies to work together, and introduce short-term, temporary visas.
“We are seeing signs of an improvement in average gas station inventories across the UK, with demand continuing to stabilize.
“This is a global problem and we have been working closely with industry for months to drive recruitment.”
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