The National Farmers Union of Scotland (NFUS) are asking all horticultural and potato growers to have their say on the government’s seasonal workers pilot programme (SWP).
The seasonal workers pilot programme allows people from other countries to temporally work in specific horticultural roles.
Now, Her Majesty’s Government is announcing that the number of visa’s available for 2022 will be 30,000, with the potential to increase to 40,000. Although, from 2023 this number could be reduced.
David Michie, NFU Scotland’s Policy Manager for Crops, said: “The UK Government announcement about the tapering down of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme is bad news for the industry and will make the labour crisis worse.
“I urge all NFU Scotland members who employ seasonal workers through the SWP scheme to complete our short survey. The information we gather will be used as evidence to lobby government. Evidence is vital in our lobbying efforts – especially when we are lobbying the Home Office. There was a risk that the SWP scheme was going to be reduced this year, however lobbying by a range of organisations including NFU Scotland prevented this from happening. Please help us keep up the pressure on this issue”.
Farmers are now being encouraged by NFUS to have their say about their experience with hiring labour and what impact the scheme has made.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “The farmers and growers I’ve spoken to have made a powerful case for needing more workers during the coming busy months.
Expanding our Seasonal Workers Pilot will help our farms with the labour they need for this summer’s harvest, while allowing us to test our future approach further.
We will always back our farmers and growers, who produce world-famous British food to some of the highest standards anywhere in the world.”
Anyone looking to take part in the survey can go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MJ2TSTC