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Seasonal Workers: Pilot Schemes

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 185333, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to make the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme permanent.

Answered on

29 April 2021

On 22 December 2020, the Government extended the Seasonal Workers Pilot for one year and expanded the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000.

The extension and expansion of the Pilot for 2021 will allow the Government to further test how the Pilot operates, while helping farmers and growers adjust to changes in the labour market, brought about by the introduction of the Points Based Immigration System on 1 January 2021, and to ease some of the pressure felt on farms when they are at their busiest.

Defra understands the importance of seasonal labour in supporting a successful and effective agricultural and food sector, and is working closely with the Home Office to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the food and farming workforce.