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Seasonal workers visas for 2023

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Farming

Horticultural workers

Defra has announced 45,000 visas for seasonal workers will be available to horticulture businesses next year - an uplift of 15,000 compared to what was available to businesses at the start of 2022.

The number will be kept under review with the potential to increase by a further 10,000 if necessary, and contingent on sponsors and growers improving and abiding by to worker welfare standards, including ensuring workers are guaranteed a minimum number of paid hours each week.

The first 4,000 visas will be made available to operators this week to ensure that daffodil growers have the labour available for their harvest at the start of the year

The news was received positively in farming media. BBC Farming Today (at 19 mins, 45 secs) ran a piece with the National Farmers Union’s Tom Bradshaw, who welcomed the move. Elsewhere Farmers Weekly, Horticulture Week, Farmers Guardian, Agriland and Farming UK alongside national coverage in the Sun and the Financial Times.

Welcoming the announcement, Farming Minister Mark Spencer said:

Seasonal labour has long been part of the UK’s rural economy, and while it is right that we offer long term support to increase the use of domestic labour, we also need to support businesses on the back of what has been a challenging year for food producers.

That’s why we’ve listened to the UK’s horticulture sector, and today’s announcement will provide our growers with the labour they need to bring in the harvest and continue to put their produce on our tables.

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  1. Comment by Umesh gautam posted on

  2. Comment by Suman posted on

    So, official operators for 2023?
    are they same or changed?

    I read some of the operators' license was expiring in end of 2022 and they are planning to add new operators for both sectors.

  3. Comment by John W. Baxter posted on

    Hallelujah........this must have come as a great relief to growers in need of labour........we can only hope that our gangmaster surveillance and management system can function to prevent acts of modern slavery and that these people who provide a valuable service are valued in the way they are treated in our society, and not abused as most headlines would have us believe.
    How long overdue is this kind of movement by our governors!.......we may get there yet!.

  4. Comment by Stella Hermoine Howell posted on

    Initial thoughts which come to mind. I presumed current Refugees in the UK occupying Hotels etc. were being trained to enter such markets including packing, filling, driving etc. Those already in the Country presumably need to be given priority for employment etc.Training is vital. Ofcourse, it is possible that not all will be granted residence. So be it. As UK appears attractive to them, we might consider the reverse equally attractive to the Refugees. Understand their total situations. Give them money and on going support to go back to their country to start perhaps self employment and the UK can import their products. This could be extremely beneficial for the UK. Diverse training bearing in mind 'one cap does not suit all'. There is much more I could add but uncertain to your reaction to this. Peace to all. May we all try to live in Harmony!