UK Government has been under increasing pressure from the sector to launch an expanded successor to the SAWS (Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme), which would allow multiple recruitment operators to import labour for the 2021 season. Whilst this would certainly provide a fix and could be part of a wider solution, it is difficult to provide, whilst remaining in line with the government’s Brexit policy on immigration.
A great solution could be to work harder to re-introduce UK labour, of all nationalities, to the UK farming industry.
The 2020 Pick For Britain campaign has successfully shown that UK workers are keen to get involved, but many have struggled to successfully engage with potential employers. For many who did find work, the publicity behind the recruitment drive did little to manage their expectations of what is actually involved, causing widespread churn of labour and negative headlines concerning ‘lazy’ British workers.