Categories: World

Much controversy in the UK over farm jobs for Brits

The UK government has urged unemployed citizens to apply for seasonal farm work, however, many applicants have expressed frustration about being overlooked for these agriculture…

The UK government has urged unemployed citizens to apply for seasonal farm work, however, many applicants have expressed frustration about being overlooked for these agriculture jobs while others have bemoaned the working and living conditions these job entailed.

The Country Land and Business Association has estimated that 80 000 agricultural workers will be needed by the industry this season.

Offers of on-site accommodation in which three or four workers share a caravan, were among the most frequent complaints on social media and in emails to The Guardian newspaper.

The move by the industry to fly in Romanian farmworkers instead of using a local workforce has caused further controversy.

Genevieve Black of south Wales, said she had been unsuccessful in applications for 10 jobs, despite being willing to live on-site in Kent, Hampshire or Scotland.

“The idea that Brits are just too lazy to work on farms is just not true,” she told The Guardian.

Alison Harrow, an England Athletics running coach seeking farm work, said she was feeling “really discouraged”.

“I’ve applied for 200 jobs and you either get: ‘We’ve got enough people now’, or you don’t hear anything back.”

The employment website, Totaljobs, reported at the start of April that there had been an 83% increase in applications for agricultural positions across the UK.

In response, Nick Marston, the chairperson of British Summer Fruits, said the business model of fruit farming had been “structured around a non-UK workforce for many years”.

“Farms are receiving large numbers of applications, and I think it would be unfair to say the industry is not accommodating the local workforce.”

Tom Bradshaw, vice-president of the National Farmers’ Union, said in a media statement that he could understand why people felt frustrated about the lack of job offers.

“In a way, the media publicity has come a bit too soon, because the jobs don’t peak until the end of May and June.”

Share
Published by
Elizabeth Schroeder

Recent Posts

Early rainfall could lead to fall armyworm infestations

With early rain experienced in different parts of the country, high infestation levels of the…

3 days ago

Langkloof hailstorm damages apple, pear crop

A hailstorm that recently struck parts of the Langkloof caused substantial damage in the area…

4 days ago

Invitation for Expression of Interest In Milk Afric

The following document sets out the terms and conditions for those interested in becoming a…

5 days ago

‘Farmers cannot afford to pay higher wages’ – agri role players

Farmworker wages could increase as much as 16,1% in 2021. This followed the National Minimum…

5 days ago

COVID-19 fears cause rush on ivermectin

Many South Africans fearful of COVID-19 are reportedly throwing caution to the wind by orally…

6 days ago

Meat board takes charge to control FMD outbreak in Namibia

The recent foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Namibia at the end of 2020 was largely…

7 days ago