The EFRA (Environment Food and Rural Affairs) Select Committee has announced an inquiry into the Government’s new points-based immigration system and its Seasonal Agriculture Workers Scheme. Along with other sectors, ornamental horticulture relies on both a seasonal workforce and non-UK resident citizens for essential operations. There is a significant opportunity to increase the UK’s nursery production, however, the Government needs to support the industry in how shortfalls in labour are to be fulfilled in 2021 and beyond. The HTA is pulling together our industry’s data, evidence and views on skills and innovation requirements, the need to expand and extend the current Seasonal Agriculture Workers Scheme to include the ornamental horticulture sector and for ornamental and environmental horticulture to be added to the Shortage Occupation List which feeds into the work visa system.
We will be inputting this information into the EFRA Committee’s Call for Evidence, which closes on 24 April 2020 and invite members to share their information with us if they wish to do so.
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