To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when (a) she or (b) a Minister in her Department last met a representative from the ornamental horticulture sector to discuss the labour needs of the sector.
6 July 2021
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs assess the labour needs of the whole of horticulture sector and works closely with the Home Office.
We have already expanded the Seasonal Workers Pilot from 10,000 to 30,000 places for 2021 to allow us to further test how it operates, whilst helping farmers and growers edible horticulture sector adjust to changes to the labour market.
More generally, the government wants employers to focus on training and investing in our domestic work force, especially those needing to find new employment as a result of the impact of the measures necessary to tackle Covid-19, rather than relying on labour from abroad. Employers should engage with the Department for Work and Pensions in the first instance, as they are best placed to help companies with recruitment issues.