Post-Brexit migrant farm employee visa scheme introduced

Migrant workers picking strawberries on farm in Kent Symbol copyright Getty Images

UK fruit and vegetable growers will probably be capable of recruit non-EU migrants as seasonal employees after Brexit underneath a new pilot scheme.

Ministers say the initiative among spring 2019 and December 2020 can assist tackle labour shortages throughout top production periods.

The visas for as much as 2,500 workers a 12 months will last for six months.

The National Farmers’ Union had expressed fears group of workers shortages may abate the harvesting of produce.

Farms were reporting a slowdown in EUROPEAN labour since the referendum.

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The scheme, which would run throughout a transition duration after the uk leaves the ecu, used to be announced by way of the home Place Of Work and the department for Setting, Meals and Rural Affairs.

Ministers stressed that the pilot will be intently monitored and will shut if there may be evidence migrant staff were not returning to their home countries while their visas expire.

‘Powerful arguments’

The government mentioned that more automatic harvesting solutions will probably be used on British farms within the long term. however it said the industry had to remain competitive, and almost all OECD nations lately use seasonal workers to select fruit and vegetables.

Atmosphere Secretary Michael Gove said the pilot’s operation can be reviewed to peer how highest to beef up the longer-term needs of the farming trade.

“now we have listened to the powerful arguments from farmers in regards to the want for seasonal labour to maintain the horticulture industry productive and successful,” he mentioned.

House Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This pilot will ensure farmers have get entry to to the seasonal labour they need to stay effective and winning all the way through busy instances of the yr.”

Minette Batters, president of the Nationwide Farmers’ Union, mentioned growers will take nice trust in understanding that they are going to have access to staff subsequent 12 months after “extremely checking out and uncertain occasions”.

She stated the scheme used to be a “recognition from the government that British horticulture is a a success, thriving sector which faces a few distinctive demanding situations however is capable of generating extra nice, healthy British fruit and vegetables”.

The UNITED KINGDOM’s first seasonal agricultural staff scheme was presented following labour shortages after World War Two.

The most recent version coated employees from Romania and Bulgaria but ended 5 years in the past whilst whilst restrictions on nationals of the two countries operating in the uk stopped.

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