07 September 2018
A pilot scheme that will allow UK fruit and vegetable growers to recruit 2,500 non-EU migrants as seasonal workers has been unveiled by ministers.
The trial, which will run from spring next year until December 2020, is designed to offset the reduction in the number of EU workers prepared to come to Britain because of Brexit.
It is estimated that UK agriculture currently relies on about 75,000 seasonal workers. Under the pilot scheme, non-EU workers will be allowed to remain in the country for six months.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “British farmers are vital to the UK’s economy and the government will look to support them in any way we can.
“This pilot will ensure farmers have access to the seasonal labour they need to remain productive and profitable during busy times of the year.
“I am committed to having an immigration system that reduces migration to sustainable levels, supports all industry and ensures we welcome those who benefit Britain.”