Imran Mustafa, who moved to Barcelona from Pakistan eight years ago and has been a haulage driver for three years, said he wants to move to the UK to work but the 12-week visa was not enough time to uproot his life.
He told the PA news agency: “It’s a temporary visa and it’s for a very small time period.
“These days, people don’t have the money to travel. No-one wants to travel for just three months.
“I could move as I live on my own but other people, French people, German people, Spanish people, they’re already earning a lot of money, so why would they move to the UK for three months only on a temporary visa?
“I would move but not for three months. It’s not enough time as we don’t know the roads, the maps or how it all works. I think it will create a lot of problems or accidents.”
The 32-year-old added that while the pay was not good in Spain, and drivers work long days, there is also a shortage and so there is lots of work available.
“In the UK there is far better income and there isn’t a language barrier as there are in places like Spain,” he said.
Another 4k to be trained as HGV drivers, army to increase testing capacity by thousands & temp visa scheme until Christmas - all part of a further package of measures we're announcing to support the haulage & food sectors deal with driver shortage🚛👇https://t.co/uEVH5JiwcV
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 26, 2021
“But I think no-one will move for three months. Even from Romania, even from Poland.
“You have to do a lot of tests, fill in a lot of forms and it’s expensive. Most people are living hand to mouth these days.”
Mehmet Ozalp, a 28-year-old driver from Mersin in Turkey, who has recently moved to Germany, said he does not believe drivers will come to the UK for the short timespan.
He told PA: “This is a temporary solution. Serious work is required to solve such a big problem for both sides. I would only move for at least six months and above. If you’re moving thousands of kilometres, it shouldn’t be just for three months.
“People who do their jobs well will not come. We have to think, ‘What will this contribute to my life?'”
The Government has announced a temporary visa scheme that will see 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers brought in on three-month contracts to keep supermarket shelves stocked with turkeys and tackle fuel delivery difficulties which have been facing British drivers in recent days.