Environment Secretary George Eustice has confirmed that the government is expanding the Seasonal Workers Pilot, enabling 10,000 temporary workers from outside the EU to work on UK farms.
Jane Imrie

UK farming sector set for boost with 10,000 workers

The government has announced that in 2020 it has quadrupled the number of seasonal workers that British farms can hire.

Environment Secretary George Eustice confirmed today (February 19) that the government is expanding the Seasonal Workers Pilot, which will enable 10,000 temporary workers from outside the EU to work on UK farms.

The scheme, which was set up last year, previously allowed farmers to hire 2,500 workers from outside the EU to work on the summer harvest.

It is hoped that the expansion will boost the country’s farming sector, as well as meet the growing demand for labour as a result continuing increase of soft fruit production - which rose by 185 per cent between 1998 and 2018.

Environment Secretary George Eustice commented: “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.”

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