Commenting on the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs introducing a pilot Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme for 2,500 non-EU workers in the transition period, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s chief executive Neil Carberry says:
“The re-introduction of the agricultural workers visa scheme is welcome recognition of the challenges farmers face.
“But we would urge government to go further. There are lots of other people involved in getting fruit and veg onto our tables once it’s harvested. Driving, warehousing, food production and hospitality are all sectors that face shortages.
“With employment at record highs, there is a real risk that a lack of labour could hit UK prosperity. We need an approach to workers from the EU that is open to all skill levels and controlled - ensuring those who come are here to work.
“Recruiters are Britain’s jobs market specialists and want to work with the government to build the new system - but it must start with the acknowledgement that many sectors already face critical labour shortages.”