The UK Independence Party (UKIP) believes that British students can do their part in easing the current labour crisis in the country.
Aside from earning extra cash, those that could help in picking fruit and other crops would eventually allow the industry to reduce its dependence on migrant workers, according to UKIP’s immigration spokesperson, John Bickley.
Interested students no longer have to do manual labour when harvesting produce with the prevalence of farming equipment, as sales of agricultural machinery are to pick up again across Europe in 2017.
Once considered a rite of passage, Bickley said that harvesting fruit served as a common source of extra income for those wanting to attend college. By maximising the available supply of local labour, the government can reduce the need to employ foreign workers, according to him.
UKIP currently provides a six-month visa to overseas individuals seeking seasonal employment in the country. Some companies, however, prefer to use agricultural equipment when harvesting fruits like berries.
Those looking to hire a cherry picker in Staffordshire, Chester and Nottingham among other districts in England choose to employ machinery since it does the job faster.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) believes that a shortage of workers in the horticulture sector poses a significant risk to fresh produce. Whether human labour or farming equipment is involved, the government should not wait until after Brexit to do something or else fruits and vegetables will rot in the fields.
NFU Chairman Ali Capper said that a requirement of more than 80,000 people to fill the shortage of workforce, and that is just for the horticulture industry alone. These jobs not only involve picking fruit, but also packing and planting crops.
The U.K.’s agricultural industry accounts for a significant part of the national economy. Do you agree on encouraging students to do farm work to help ease the employment crisis?