Growers urged to flag seasonal job vacancies as ‘Pick for Britain’ website goes live

NFU vice president Tom Bradshaw at his farm at Fordham, near Colchester Picture: JOHN COTTLE

NFU vice president Tom Bradshaw at his farm at Fordham, near Colchester Picture: JOHN COTTLE - Credit: Archant

A north Essex farmers’ leader who worked with government to fill a yawning gap in vital seasonal workers to pick UK crops has welcomed the launch of a new central online recruitment hub to attract them.

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) vice president Tom Bradshaw said thousands of vacancies would be opening up on the new ‘Pick For Britain’ website over the coming weeks.

Mr Bradshaw, who farms at Fordham, near Colchester, has been in talks with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to try to come up with a solution to the impending recruitment crisis.

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Pick For Britain is now live for fruit and vegetable businesses to advertise their job vacancies for this year’s harvest.

The site is aimed at bringing workers and employers together to ensure crops are picked and supermarkets supplied – but needs the job vacancies to be advertised first.

Farm businesses, labour providers and recruiters are being urged to post job vacancies on the site now.

“As the peak summer harvest approaches, we have been working closely with DEFRA to ensure a solution is in place for businesses to recruit domestic workers this summer,” said Mr Bradshaw

“There will be thousands of vacancies opening up on farms across the country in the coming weeks and we have already seen a fantastic response from the public wanting to pick for Britain this summer.

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“Farmers are incredibly proud to be producing food for the nation at this crucial time but there are challenges and the support of the British public is incredibly valued.”