According to new findings, British farming has received a huge labour boost since April in its drive to feed the nation amid the Covid19 crisis. With the UK jobs market undergoing a dramatic shift in light of these global economic challenges, there has been a record demand for agricultural roles and farming. With many workers losing their jobs and permanently laid off, an increase in applications for farming has surfaced since late March, to help keep the country fed.
Spike In Agricultural Roles And Farming
More specifically, during the past month Zoek’s Job Board has seen a 42% increase in agricultural roles and farming. In addition, the number of applications has increased by a staggering 54.5% since the 17th of March. Compared to February the search term “farm worker” has had a 51% increase, with candidates searching with more generic terms too, such as “farm” and “agriculture”. With predictions that up to a million people could lose their job due to COVID-19, an unprecedented surge in search trends is growing on job sites, while people are looking for new opportunities. In April, there was a 68% increase in new candidate registrations signing up to apply for jobs, followed by a staggering 52% increase in job application’ submissions.
Modern Day ‘Land Army’
UK growers recently launched a recruitment drive, calling for a modern-day “land army” to prevent millions of tonnes of fruit and vegetables going to waste. Fortunately, there have been encouraging signs of people coming forward understanding the need and, in an effort, to help.
Farmers need about 70,000 workers to cover the jobs usually carried out by seasonal migrants, according to the British Growers’ Association. However, due to travel and movement restrictions amid the Covid19 outbreak, there’s been a serious labour shortage ahead of the picking season.
2020 was always going to be a challenging year for Agriculture in the UK. Brexit, the Budget, a new Agricultural Plan, and now a global crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic. As a consequence, emphasis has recently been put on shortages, as well as on the newly unveiled “key” roles performed by food industry workers, including fruit pickers and farmers. In fact, the harvesting season has only just started for the majority of farms and crops in the UK, yet there are still thousands of roles available for people, who are in need of a job.
The crisis has highlighted the importance of farm labour in agricultural roles, something which is bound to become all too evident over the summer. It’s highly likely, we’ll sadly see large quantities of fruit remaining unpicked. Although the farmers’ union are working collectively to fill the gap, it’s difficult to see how that can be 100% successful during these difficult times.
If you’re looking for agricultural roles and farming, yet you’re hesitant because your idea of agriculture involves a weathered old man in suspenders, then you should know that times have changed! Modern agriculture is a high-tech industry, combining the best of environmental sciences, information technology and software in order to provide food, energy and consumer goods. So, even if you’re considering uprooting your career for a job outside of your chosen field, then register on Zoek, search from hundreds of fresh farming jobs and start applying today!
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