Commenting on the news on Wednesday (30/9) that following its recent review, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has failed to recommend any horticultural occupations for inclusion on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the HTA said:
“Despite evidence submitted, this decision means the sector will be at a disadvantage when looking for skilled and experienced specialists. This is hugely disappointing at a time when the industry is working with Defra on a Horticulture Strategy, the Government is committed to a ‘green recovery’ approach and the sector is delivering a post-COVID economic bounce. We need the best people from around the globe to contribute to greening our economy in science and research, in horticultural production and in environmental control systems.
“Coupled with a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme that doesn’t include ornamental horticulture, it means labour supply becomes an industry growth limiting issue.
“We will engage very closely with both the Government and the MAC to address the issues facing the industry around labour supply, skills and education in horticulture in order to fulfil the sector’s requirements. We will press for horticulture to be considered again at the earliest opportunity.”