The seasonal workers pilot, announced by the Home Secretary and Environment Secretary in September 2018 , has now opened.
Fruit and vegetable farmers are able to employ up to 2,500 non-EU migrant workers for seasonal work for up to six months. The first workers will arrive on UK farms this spring, subject to recruitment and visa application processes. The pilot will run until the end of December 2020 and will be reviewed before any decisions are taken on running a future scheme.
Two scheme operators (Concordia and Pro-Force) have been licenced to manage the pilot and will be responsible for identifying suitable workers and matching them to UK farmers. They will also be required to ensure the welfare of the workers whilst they are in the UK.
The pilot is intended to test the effectiveness of the immigration system at alleviating seasonal labour shortages during peak production periods, whilst maintaining immigration control and ensuring minimal impact on local communities and public services.
To find out more about the Immigration White Paper, click here.