NFU argues case for revised seasonal workers scheme

The NFU has set out proposals for how a revised Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) can better meet the industry's needs.

The current SAWS is due to end this year, though it may be extended to 2013.

The NFU says that, post-2013, it wants a scheme that will combine an ongoing supply of migrant labour with incentives to encourage UK citizens to take up work in the sector.

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said: "SAWS has helped growers to overcome employment difficulties by providing an ideal contribution to the industry's seasonal labour requirements for the past 60 years.

"It's a top priority for the horticulture sector to secure the continued availability of seasonal migrant labour when the current SAWS arrangements end."

He added: "We are also proposing a combination of training initiatives and welfare benefit adjustments that will challenge the perception of horticulture as a place to work, and encourage inactive citizens into a sector job."

In May, a report by the Independent Farming Regulation task force described the adequate supply of seasonal labour as "critical, particularly for horticulture", and called for some form of SAWS to be retained.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

The British Tomato Growers Association (TGA) conference heard a range of perspectives on what changes lie in store for the sector and how to anticipate them.

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

As the British apple season begins, English Apples & Pears (EAP) is warning that growers will feel the effects of both a late frost in spring and also constrained labour supply.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon