UK 'Pick For Britain' scheme failed to recruit British volunteers

The British government spent more than £30,000 promoting the failed Pick For Britain scheme, some say. Farmers could not recruit the 60,000 British volunteers needed to save UK crops when the pandemic stopped seasonal foreign workers from entering the country. Yet £29,830 was spent between April 2020 and April 2021 on the failed scheme, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) stated.

The figure includes £1,424 paid to Concordia Ltd, a volunteering and international work placements charity, for a film of UK farm workers ‘used to create promotional recruitment materials for the Pick for Britain campaign’, the department’s response read.

Pick for Britain, brought in by the Government in April 2020, was scrapped after 12 months when Britons struggled with the workload required. Despite a heavy initial influx of applications, of the 70,000 picking and packing roles needed in 2020, fewer than 7,000 Britons actually took up jobs.


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