Bishop of St Albans asks about visas for seasonal agricultural workers to meet harvest need

StAlbansRoMB3On 24th September 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer from the Government to a question on seasonal agricultural workers:

The Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to provide visas for seasonal agricultural workers and to ensure that there will be a sufficient number of such workers to meet harvest need.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: I refer the Noble Prelate to the Written Ministerial Statement (HLWS911) my Rt. hon friend the Home Secretary made on 6 September 2018. A copy of which is attached for your reference.

The pilot will mean fruit and vegetable farmers are able to employ migrant workers for seasonal work for up to six months. 2,500 workers from outside the EU will be able to come to the UK each year, alleviating labour shortages during peak production periods.

The Seasonal Workers pilot will be run by two scheme operators, who will oversee the placement of the workers. The arrangements for selecting these will be announced in due course.The pilot will run until the end of December 2020 and will be monitored closely by the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.