29 December 2022
MP Welcomes Seasonal Workers Scheme Expansion

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has welcomed news that the annual scheme to help local farmers to recruit foreign workers to harvest their crops will be expanded next year.

Up to 45,000 people will be allowed to be recruited from abroad to help local food producers pick the seasonal fruit and vegetable crops.

Usually, the workers stay in the area for the picking season and return home and many farmers offer accommodation as part of the deal to encourage them to come and help out with the harvest.

Harriett recently met with a delegation of farmers who asked for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme to be expanded allowing them more certainty about the ability to recruit more seasonal workers.

The MP spoke to Home Secretary Suella Braverman to share the farmers concerns and this week, the Home Office confirmed the scheme’s plans for next year.

Harriett said:

“This is a seasonal scheme that allows local farmers to recruit people from abroad to come and pick our produce and then return home. They don’t count in the permanent immigration numbers, although many of the workers come for just the summer, each year.

“The Home Office has heard my lobbying and agreed to expand the scheme. This has already been welcomed by local farmers and I hope it gives them the confidence to plan their planting for next year.”