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Shropshire independent review into labour shortages (seasonal workers) – HTA statement


Commenting on the Government Response to the Shropshire Review into Labour Shortages, Jennifer Pheasey, Director of Policy at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) commented:


“Skills and labour shortages are critical issues for UK environmental horticulture. The HTA has repeatedly sought for a longer-term basis for the Seasonal Worker Scheme. Confirmation of a five-year scheme, albeit with the details yet to be published, is welcome and helps give horticulture businesses who are facing multiple challenges, from weather impacts to new border changes, some much needed certainty and confidence.”


“The government response to this review covers other significant areas and issues for the sector including automation, the apprenticeship levy, apprenticeship funding, and green skills. We welcome the commitment of Defra to work with other government departments to ensure that the cross-government skills agenda pays appropriate regard to the skills needs of Defra-sponsored sectors.”


“The HTA seeks for both the inclusion and importance of environmental horticulture to be recognised when developing the policy detail across the areas covered in this government response. Environmental horticulture is a hugely important industry, that delivers green jobs and skills, economic, environmental, social, health, and wellbeing benefits to the UK. It is critical that the government listens to and acts on the needs of the sector.”


The Shropshire Independent Review into Labour Shortages in the Food Supply Chain was published by John Shropshire, chair of the review, in June 2023. The government response can be found here:


The Government has announced that in 2025 there will be 45,000 visas available under the Seasonal Workers Scheme. Between 2026-2029 the numbers of visas available are subject to review.

The HTA’s previous statement can be found here:

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