Production of comprehensive labour market information for the agricultural and horticultural sectors
1 January 2022 - 30 June 2022
About the research
Issues around agricultural labour in the UK, while not new, have come to the fore in recent years due to shortages and skills gaps being highlighted by industry experts, academics and media outlets in the wake of both Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic (FDSC 2020; House of Commons 2021; RABDF 2021; Pelham 2020). In spite of a rise in research and data collection related to farm labour, the future of farm labour in the UK is still unclear, particularly with regards to the Agricultural Transition, new technologies and changes in immigration policy. Data collection strategies have largely been ineffective in capturing the evidence required to understand the labour and skills situation across the whole of England and across all sectors. While the farming community is used to dealing with uncertainty and factors outside of their control, change in the contemporary climate is happening at such a rate that some industry experts, along with many farmers, have identified the labour and skills situation in British agriculture as ‘in crisis’. It is, therefore, essential that an accurate picture of farm labour and skills requirements, both now and in the future, is developed. This will not only help to inform TIAH, but also policy-makers, industry representatives and farmers and farm workers themselves.
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