Seasonal Agricultural Workers' Scheme

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th March 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Baroness Jones of Whitchurch Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether consideration will be given to extending the pilot replacement Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAWs) Scheme to allow previous licensed SAWs operators to recruit sufficient skilled seasonal manual workers for the coming growing season.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Seasonal Workers Pilot is different to the previous Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, which ran until 2013.

The pilot will be run by two operators who will act as third party providers of labour. The Home Office have concluded that two scheme operators is the optimal number for managing this pilot. Defra ran a competitive selection process to select the two operators.

The pilot is not designed to meet the full labour needs of the horticultural sector. Rather, the Government is seeking to evaluate the pilot’s ability to assist in alleviating labour shortages during peak production periods. We wish to assess fully this pilot before taking any decisions on future arrangements.

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