To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of labour shortages in the ornamental horticulture sector on UK tree growers; and whether labour shortages in this sector will affect their ability to meet their tree planting targets.
The England Trees Action Plan (ETAP) sets out our long-term ambition to increase woodland creation and management in England. As part of this, we want to support a thriving nursery sector, and are working with them to upskill and expand our domestic workforce and monitor labour requirements.
Planting, establishing and managing trees in rural and urban settings requires skills, technical knowledge, and people to put those into practice. The ETAP includes support for higher technical and professional education routes into the forestry sector, improved links with allied sectors such as arboriculture, agriculture and horticulture, and the creation of a new Forestry Skills Action Plan for England that will raise the profile of forestry careers amongst school leavers and career changers.
The ETAP also committed to funding to support UK public and private sector nurseries and seed suppliers to enhance quantity, quality, diversity and biosecurity of domestic tree production through means including capital grants and support to augment investment and stimulate innovation.