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MP welcomes return of Seasonal Workers Scheme


17th September 2018

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has today welcomed the confirmation that local farmers will still be able to use migrant workers once Britain leaves the European Union next year.

Farmers all over the county depend on temporary migrant workers to pick and pack Worcestershire’s world-famous produce including hops, asparagus and apples.

Harriett has worked closely with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to press the case made by local growers to reinstate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, which allowed temporary workers to come from outside the EU but was closed in 2013.

The news was confirmed by Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, offering local employers a degree of confidence about planning for next year’s crops.

The new pilot scheme will mean fruit and vegetable farmers are able to employ migrant workers for seasonal work for up to 6 months and 2,500 workers from outside the EU will be able to come to the UK each year, alleviating labour shortages during peak production periods.

Harriett commented: “I have met with local farmers and food producers on many occasions since the referendum and their overwhelming message has been that we should return to the old seasonal workers scheme to help them recruit people to pick their crops.

“I’ve passed this message on and I am delighted that the Government listened to the voices of farmers and the words of the MPs who represent them and deliver this important policy announcement.

“The pilot has received a guarded welcome from our local farmers and I look forward to seeing the detail on this plan and how it will help growers to access the people they need. Agriculture and horticulture are mainstays of the West Worcestershire economy and I hope that local employers will be reassured by this news.”



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