THOUSANDS of pupils face starting school next week with no uniform because stock is being held up overseas by the truckers’ crisis.
Suppliers are blaming the driver shortage and Covid-related shipping problems despite some parents ordering the gear for their kids a year ago.
It follows nationwide problems at supermarkets and restaurant chains caused by a lack of HGV drivers and coronavirus.
Uniform provider Monkhouse Schoolwear has told parents its difficulties were linked to “international shipping delays caused by Covid”.
It has branches in Cheshire, Gtr Manchester, Gloucs, Wilts and Bristol — which has been hit by the uniform problem.
Managing director Peter Monkhouse apologised to parents and said: “We ordered stock earlier than ever to try to combat Covid complications.”
Thousands of parents in Bristol have signed a petition urging schools not to send kids home if they turn up in the wrong uniform
Mum Ellen Sanders, the petition organiser, said: “Parents will not be able to get every single item of uniform the schools insist upon.”
The UK’s food and drink sector, meanwhile, is calling on ministers to sanction a temporary visa class for lorry drivers to help meet the estimated 100,000 shortfall.
Tesco boss John Allan warned the repercussions of too few drivers could see shortages at Christmas.
He said: “We’re running very hard just to keep on top of existing demand. There isn’t the capacity to build stocks.”
The Sun has launched a Keep On Trucking campaign aimed at recruiting tens of thousands of HGV drivers.
We are offering free job listings to firms with driver roles on our Sun Jobs site (jobs.thesun.co.uk).
Experienced drivers can earn £45,000.
Many firms offer £2,000 signing-on bonuses.