Irish government to launch recruitment campaign for fruit pickers

The Irish government is set to launch a national recruitment campaign to advertise for temporary workers for the horticulture sector. It hopes to get a suitable reaction from the many tens of thousands who have been temporarily laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It comes as concerns were raised over Dublin fruit company Keelings bringing workers from Bulgaria to Ireland to pick fruit. The flight arrived at Dublin Airport on Thursday, transporting seasonal workers to be deployed on Keelings fruit farms.

The government campaign will be timed for the fruit harvest peaking in mid-May to Mid-June and the vegetable harvest from Mid-June.  A government spokesperson said it is aware of the chartered flight that brought 190 people to Ireland this week for fruit picking work. "The number of people travelling to Ireland has fallen by more than 95% since the start if the Covid-19 Emergency. The Irish border, including airports, remains open to support the supply chain for essential cargo and essential workers, as well as the repatriation of our citizens. Seasonal workers are critical to the agricultural sector in terms of harvesting, planting and tending functions, especially in the current season.”

"The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has been working closely with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to ensure employers are aware of the supports for business to help them source labour from the domestic economy."

As reported on¸ they concluded by saying that anyone arriving from outside Ireland must comply with the Department of Health Covid-19 guidelines and restrict movements for 14 days.

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