27 October 2009
UK work permits could reduce shortage of skilled farm workers
The UK needs more skilled workers in agriculture, either through assisting more workers with UK work permits or increased agriculture training, or farmers face food production difficulties.
A major report released this week by Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the UK’s environmental and land-based industries, found 31 per cent of job vacancies in agriculture are hard to fill because of skills shortages.
Richard Longthorp, chairman of the Lantra Agri Skills Forum, said: “The simple facts of the matter are that farmers and their employees are getting older and we are not finding skilled replacements.
“We need to attract 60,000 new entrants into agriculture alone over the next decade just to stand still.”
The Lantra report research found that environmental and land-based sectors accounts for one in ten businesses across the UK, but if farmers are to deliver the high level of productivity required to feed the nation in future years, they must be given the human resources necessary, it said.