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British MPs to scrutinise 'Seasonal Workers' pilot scheme

The British parliament will be launching an investigation, looking into the impact and effectiveness of the two-year Seasonal Workers pilot scheme. The government plan, first announced in 2018, gives farming businesses the opportunity to employ migrant workers for up to six months.

Lobby groups said the pilot's original 2,500 worker cap was ineffective, as many farms saw a sharp decline in labour after the EU referendum. The pilot has since been expanded fourfold to 10,000 workers in a bid to boost the workforce on UK farms following these concerns.

But the NFU said this figure is still not enough. It has called for the pilot to allow the recruitment of 70,000 seasonal workers.

Now the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee (EFRA) has launched an inquiry into labour in the food supply chain, determining the impact of the new pilot on farming. MPs will scrutinise the extent to which the Seasonal Workers scheme is sufficient in meeting demands in the agricultural and horticultural sectors.


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