A chilled food distributor used by Asda and Sainsbury’s has gone bust threatening 400 jobs..
EVCL Chill, which delivers chilled food to the supermarket giants, has been put into administration amid a shortage of truck drivers.
A shortage of HGV drivers and the loss o customers during the pandemic has affected the company according to administrators PWC.
Almost 5,000 lorry drivers from Europe are being allowed into the UK to help ease the haulage crisis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘s wants military driving examiners brought in to boost the number of HGV tests to allow more British drivers can get on the road.
There is an estimated shortage of about 100,000 HGV drivers, exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit the Road Haulage Association says.
Fuel delivery supplies have been badly hit in the last few days sparking violence at forecourts among motorists.
Food distributor EVCL Chill is reported to have 1,092 full-time workers, according to PWC and 658 of them have been transferred to customers along with a number of services.
Up to 434 jobs are at threat at the company’s bases in Daventry and Crick in Northamptonshire, Alfreton in Derbyshire, Rochdale in Greater Manchester, Bristol, and Penrith in Cumbria.
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Eddie Williams, joint administrator, told The Sun : “This has been a very difficult situation and involved intense discussions with key stakeholders on an accelerated basis to get to this position.
“As businesses move from survival mode to recovery, the financial climate is still very volatile.”
The adminstrator said staff whose jobs haven’t been transferred to other firms would hear more about their jobs next week.
The collapse of EVCL Chill comes ahead of an expected government announcement which will allow the relaxation of Visa rules visa rules for foreign HGV drivers to sopped up supply chains.
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Tony Danker, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), called for a “temporary and managed” system to bring in foreign workers.
He told BBC Breakfast: “You need to be able to, on a temporary basis, on a fixed and managed basis, bring in skills we need now.”
Mr Danker welcomed the Government’s plan to recruit and train British workers, but said: “You can’t turn baggage handlers into butchers overnight or shopkeepers into chefs – you can do it over three to five years maybe, but you can’t do it overnight.”