Hospitality and retail need English speakers from overseas and agents are finding it harder and more expensive to find good English speakers for horticulture roles.
Concordia will charge the equivalent of a skilled worker fee (£200) for workers that speak proficient English. A significant proportion of this fee will be paid to the agent as commission, to compensate them for the additional resources they are spending.
This change comes in to effect immediately for new courses submitted to Concordia.
Introducing a change such as this part-way through a season is unprecedented for Concordia.
NFU surveys found that worker shortages have reached 30% at certain times of the year.
Concordia's Sam Zubaidi told the BPOA in January that requests from growers were up 10% but supply of overseas workers was down.