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ALP advises horticultural sector to plan now to secure future labour supply

ALP advises horticultural sector to plan now to secure future labour supply

Responding to the Minister of State for Immigration, Mark Harper’s decision, that there will be no replacement for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS), the Association of Labour Providers (ALP) calls upon representative horticultural bodies to work together to ensure farmers and growers have enough seasonal labour for 2014 and beyond.

SAWS, which currently permits 21,250 Bulgarian and Romanians to work in the UK will close at the end of 2013 when nationals from these countries gain free access to the European labour market.

The Immigration Minister concluded that another non-EEA migration scheme to replace SAWS was not the answer and that there should be sufficient workers from within the UK and EU labour markets to meet the needs of the sector.

Says Association of Labour Provider’s Director David Camp, “It is essential that every horticultural business which relies upon seasonal workers plans now to secure their labour supply in 2014 and beyond.  The last thing that anyone wants is for crops to remain unpicked due to a shortage of labour.  To ensure we do not get to this situation requires early planning and may involve new ways of thinking and new models of supply.  ALP labour providers supply the majority of seasonal workers into the UK food and agricultural sectors and our members will support farmers and growers to meet this challenge.”

ALP Chairman Kevin Roberts adds, “I would call upon all the horticultural representative bodies to work together to support the industry in meeting its ongoing labour needs.  I will make personal contact with these organisations and invite them to discuss how we may work collaboratively to secure the seasonal labour supply for the industry.”

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