Lack of staffing is impacting both public services and other sectors we all rely on. Key bus services have been cancelled across West Scotland in recent weeks, whilst supply chain issues are leading to gaps on supermarket shelves and uncertainty over supplies ahead of Christmas. I believe it is urgent we fill these roles and that is why I am calling on the Scottish Government to introduce a new fund to subsidise training for prospective heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and bus drivers.

Whilst some bus, coach and haulage companies and operators offer funded training, many people are required to fork out thousands of pounds for driving courses, Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) tests and periodic training. This is prohibitively expensive for many people considering entering the sector and there are few state-led schemes in place.

I have asked the Scottish Government how many people they are supporting in these sectors with existing funds and what steps they are taking to address the national shortage of bus drivers. I believe governments on both sides of the border need to do more to address this crisis and I will continue to press this issue.