Union Calls for Horticulture and Potato Growers to Complete Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme Survey

Survey responses will help NFU Scotland lobby government to extend the scheme 

NFU Scotland are calling on all horticulture and potato growers that use the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme (SWP) to complete a short survey to provide evidence to support Union lobbying. 

On Christmas Eve the UK Government announced that the SWP migrant labour scheme would keep the number of visas available for 2022 at 30,000, with the potential to increase to 40,000. It was also revealed that from 2023 this number would start reducing. NFU Scotland alongside the NFU of England and Wales had asked for the number of seasonal visas available to the UK in 2022 to be extended to 55,700. 

The horticultural sector in Scotland accounts for only one percent of land area but 16 percent of the agricultural output, and its ongoing success is dependent on securing the necessary labour. As the industry continues to feel the impacts of shortages across the supply chain as a result of Brexit and Covid, the SWP is an essential route to get the workers needed for the fruit, vegetable, and ornamental sectors.

David Michie, NFU Scotland’s Policy Manager for Crops, said: “The UK Government announcement about the tapering down of the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme is bad news for the industry and will make the labour crisis worse.

“I urge all NFU Scotland members who employ seasonal workers through the SWP scheme to complete our short survey. The information we gather will be used as evidence to lobby government. Evidence is vital in our lobbying efforts - especially when we are lobbying the Home Office. There was a risk that the SWP scheme was going to be reduced this year, however lobbying by a range of organisations including NFU Scotland prevented this from happening. Please help us keep up the pressure on this issue”. 


Contact Ruth Oxborrow on 07823 556253

Author: Ruth Oxborrow

Date Published:

News Article No.: 05/22

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