New study highlights economic value of seasonal workers

Wednesday April 12th 2023

Strawberry-pickers


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

New research that explores the role that migrant workers play within the agricultural sector has been published. Commenting on the ‘Seasonal Migrant Workers in Scottish Agriculture’ report, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Year after year, EU farm workers provide a massive boost to our rural economy. Seasonal staff fill vacancies that the domestic workforce are unable to and it is vital that we support workers that come to work in the sector.

“The report not only highlights the economic value of workers but documents their experiences and identifies key factors which may impact the wellbeing of staff during their time in Scotland.

“The uncertainties caused by Brexit, the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have clearly had an impact on seasonal staff who are now actively considering jobs within the EU.

“We will actively consider the report’s recommendations and I encourage employers, third sector organisations and the UK Government to do the same in order to safeguard the future of Scotland’s seasonal workforce.”

The Seasonal Migrant Workers in Scottish Agriculture report shows that workers from the EU fill key employment gaps within the farming sector. It also makes several recommendations for employers and lawmakers to ensure that this valuable labour force is not lost. You can read the full report here. HERE.

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