Labour provider calls on horticultural staff

Labour provider HOPS is urging all horticultural and agricultural staff who may not be working as a result of the impact of Covid-19 to apply to work on farms to help with picking operations.

The paid positions could provide an income for students, job seekers and anyone who has been laid off work due to the impact of Covid-19, such as those working in hospitality and catering, it says.

Travel restrictions and tighter border controls around the world are having a major impact on the number of people willing to travel to the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The organisation is also working with The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) to help gather support from the YFC community and has launched a #YFCRuralSupport campaign to find applicants.

HOPS Operations Director Sarah Boparan said: “We urgently need a UK labour force who can help harvest crops to feed the nation. At a time when international travel is restricted and people are panic buying due to the Coronavirus, it is crucial that growers can provide enough British produce to our supermarkets and local shops.

“As the peak season for soft fruit picking gets underway, HOPS are calling on people in Britain to help support the industry in jobs that are usually filled by EU workers.

“We are aware that there are many people facing sustained periods away from their usual employment or studies and HOPS can offer paid positions for those who are willing to work.”

Interested applicants will be asked to complete an online application form after they have reviewed the information about the work involved.

The move comes as the Government confirmed last month that anyone that has been furloughed by a company can still apply for works on other farms and nurseries in the sector.

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