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Labour shortages are “critical issues” for horticulture, says HTA

by | 10 May 24 | News | 0 comments

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) welcomes the government response to the Shropshire Review into Labour Shortages, saying it provides “much needed certainty and confidence” for horticulture businesses.

Director of policy at the HTA, Jennifer Pheasey comments on the government response, “Skills and labour shortages are critical issues for UK environmental horticulture.

“Confirmation of a five-year scheme, albeit with the details yet to be published, is welcome.”

Pheasey goes on to say the government response to the review covers “significant areas and issues for the sector” including automation, the apprenticeship levy, apprenticeship funding and green skills.

“We [the HTA] 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.”

She reaffirms that the HTA is seeking 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.”

Adding that environmental horticulture is a “hugely important industry that delivers green jobs and skills, economic, environmental, social, health and wellbeing benefits to the UK.”

Pheasey concludes the HTA’s response by saying “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 has announced that in 2025 there will be 45,000 visas available under the Seasonal Workers Scheme, while the number of visas available in 2026 – 2029 will be subject to review.

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