A new report shows that Brexit and Covid led to more than 500,000 job openings in the UK’s farming sector by August.
A group of British MPs warns that chronic labor shortages could cause even more food price increases. This is according to a Wednesday report. The MPs urge the government to learn from its mistakes in immigration policy last year, and take urgent action.
A joint committee of Tory and Labour MPs wrote the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report. It claimed that by August 2021, the industry was in its last stages. “potentially in excess of 500,000 job vacancies”There are 4.1 Million roles within the sector. “caused by Brexit and accentuated by the [Covid-19] pandemic.”
According to the report “clear evidence”The shortage of workers was having severe consequences for the farming and food industries. “threatening food security, the welfare of animals and the mental health of those working in the sector,”It is important to note that many businesses are also incorporating this. “badly hit”These problems were being especially impacted by the pig sector, where 35,000 pigs have been recently killed due to a shortage of workers.
“We found that labour shortages across the sector were causing crops to go unharvested and left to rot in fields, healthy pigs to be culled, and disruption to the food supply chain’s just-in-time delivery model,”According to the report.
The MPs warn that the UK’s food sector – its largest manufacturing sector – could face permanent shrinkage unless labour shortages are addressed, arguing that if action is not taken immediately, the industry could see wage rises, price increases, reduced competitiveness and food production being exported abroad as the country becomes more reliant on imports.
They insist that the government should be accountable. “must learn the lessons” from how it introduced temporary short-term visa schemes in autumn 2021, which were issued too late and didn’t allow the sector to take advantage of the visas.
They also called on ministers to review the Skilled Worker Visa scheme, which they claim has many aspects that act as barriers, including the complicated and expensive visa application process as well as the strict English-language requirement – which the MPs feel should be lowered to a “basic user” level.
Also, the group asks that the government expand the Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme – which allows foreign workers to come to the UK to work on farms for up to six months within one year, – and increase the number of such visas available by 10,000 this year and make the scheme permanent as well as make a commitment to announce visa numbers in the future.
Repomassnews.com comes as Britain is experiencing rising inflation. In March, 83% of adults in the country experienced high living costs. Inflation, already at 3.5% in January and rising to 8.5% by March, has been warned by the Bank of England. The Bank of England believes that food and fuel prices will continue to rise due to difficulties in sourcing energy amid ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
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