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Agriculture: Seasonal Workers

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many people have been recruited to the Pick For Britain scheme as of 19 June 2020; and whether that number has been sufficient to meet demand.

Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many agricultural settings have benefited from the Pick For Britain scheme to date.

Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what targets he has set for the Pick For Britain scheme; and what assessment he has made of whether those targets have been met.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Pick for Britain website was launched in April as a joint Defra and industry initiative to bring together people who are looking for work on UK farms with recruiters who have roles to fill. As well as the website, we have worked across industry and with commercial partners and others to widely promote the Pick for Britain campaign. At its busiest point 27 businesses, including recruiters who worked for multiple individual horticulture businesses, were listed on the ‘Jobs’ page. The website has had over 1.5 million unique page views since its launch, and several recruiters and growers have now filled their vacancies for the season and have asked to be removed from the website. The campaign’s benefits have been felt beyond the website, and industry have confirmed that many more businesses have benefited from the wider campaign.

We know that there is a lot of interest from domestic workers, but we are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and held by individual companies. Defra has therefore not set a target for the total number of workers the Pick for Britain campaign aims to have directly or indirectly recruited.

We are closely monitoring the situation, and although labour supplies can change quickly industry is indicating that the demand for seasonal workers is currently being met.

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