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UK’s Shapps explores temporary visas for EU workers to ease airport staffing crisis -Breaking


© Reuters. During an event marking the completion of Paddington Station’s Elizabeth Line in London, Britain on May 17, 2022, Grant Shapps, Britain’s Transport Secretary, reacts. REUTERS/Toby Melville

(Reuters] – The Telegraph reported Saturday that Grant Shapps the British Transport Minister is considering issuing temporary visas to EU workers to address a crisis in staffing at airports.

According to the report, there are plans to provide temporary visas to baggage handlers, check-in personnel, and musicians with similar visas to those granted to religious and fruit pickers.

Europe’s airports struggled to deal with an increase in demand over the last week. British airports were particularly affected by chaos due to a half-term school holiday that coincided with Platinum Jubilee holiday weekend.

The Telegraph reported that Shapps held an emergency meeting at the end of February with top aviation executives, but rejected the pleas to add aviation workers to the list of shortage occupations, making it much easier for them to attract staff from other countries.

The report says that Whitehall officials are now discussing alternative options with the industry.

According to the report, the best option is to issue temporary visas for EU workers to fly in the industry for up six months. Industry leaders believe that they could then be granted a permanent visa.

In January 2020, Britain resigned from the European Union.

Reuters reached out to the Department of Transport for clarification but they did not respond immediately.