10,000 seasonal agricultural workers to be recruited to bolster British farming in 2020

The Government will quadruple the number of workers farms can recruit on a temporary basis from outside the EU this year to take up seasonal work.
calendar icon 19 February 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

Commenting, BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said: “The UK veterinary profession is hugely reliant on overseas vets in order to deliver animal health and welfare, safeguard public health, and ensure the UK can trade animals and animal products.

“The government’s blueprint for trade will require a massive boost to the veterinary workforce to deliver veterinary certification not only for exports but, as announced last week, also for imports. This new immigration system leaves a big question mark over whether we’ll be able to fill the workforce gap created by the end of free movement when we are already struggling to recruit and retain vets.

“We’re pleased that our campaign to secure vets onto the Shortage Occupation List will be rewarded under the new system and we’re delighted that post-study work visas will be available for vets who graduate from our world-class vet schools.

“But we don’t know if this will be enough, and we remain concerned that an employer-led system places a significant financial and bureaucratic burden on vet practices, many of which are SMEs.

“We’re keen to work with Defra and the Home Office to do all we can to support vets to get ready for the introduction of the new system.”

NFU President Minette Batters standing in a field of cows
NFU President Minette Batters expresses her concern over the the incredibly short timeframe given for businesses to prepare for the new changes to immigration policy

© NFU

swine vets examining pig
The BVA remains concerned that an employer-led system places a significant financial and bureaucratic burden on vet practices
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