HRH The Prince of Wales has posted a message on social media showing his support for the 'Pick for Britain' campaign.
Farmers across the nation are deeply concerned that lockdown restrictions will leave them without the labourers needed to gather this year’s harvest.
While farm workers in Britain are able to continue working, subject to social distancing restrictions, in normal years a large wave of workers from the Continent come to the country to harvest fruit and vegetables.
But a scheme to encourage those who have lost their jobs, been furloughed or who are otherwise unemployed
The Pick For Britain scheme got off to a slow start, with a confusing number of alternative options for would-be workers to register their interest. Now, however, a coordinated effort is up and running at pickforbritain.org.uk, a campaign being run as a partnership with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Association of Labour Providers, British Growers, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the National Farmers Union.
Many who are keen to help will have questions, most of which seem to be answered on the site’s FAQ page, but the key things to note is that no experience is needed, the minimum age is 18 (though some farms will have jobs for 16-year-olds), and that you can expect to work a full week, possibly in shifts, generally starting very early and finishing in mid-afternoon. Many farms will also provide accommodation at a legally-mandated rate of £52.85 per week or less, allowing city-based workers to stay on the farm where they’re working.
In addition, workers who have been furloughed from their regular jobs will be able to get involved, so long as their employer gives permission. With the Chancellor of the Exchequer having extended the scheme into the autumn, that alone could provide a large potential pool of workers.
See pickforbritain.org.uk for more details and to get involved.
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