NFU hits back as agriculture excluded from list of critical jobs post-Brexit

NFU President Minette Batters said she is 'staggered' that farming has been 'ignored'
NFU President Minette Batters said she is 'staggered' that farming has been 'ignored'

The NFU has hit back at the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) for excluding agriculture from its list of jobs in short supply once the UK leaves the EU.

Recommendations from MAC exclude agriculture from its list of jobs that need to be filled by non-UK workers post-Brexit.

Publishing a review of the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), it omitted farming but included roles like dance choreographers and artists.

During the consultation, the NFU provided a range of critical jobs that many non-UK workers perform on farms at all skill levels roles such as dairy herdsmen and poultry technicians.



But NFU President Minette Batters said she is 'staggered' that farming has been 'ignored', and that the MAC has 'failed to recognise the needs of the industry'.

“The implications for shoppers wanting to continue to buy affordable high quality British food,” she said.



“The consultation was poorly managed, with events arranged at just 48 hours’ notice.

“These events were supposed to gather evidence on those occupations in shortage across all skill levels highlighting the need for experience, aptitude and knowledge.

In a post-Brexit world, access to overseas workers may be restricted for the farming industry.

Farmers and growers fear their businesses will be limited purely to UK-based workers to fill those jobs.

However, with the country at near full employment, rural businesses fear the numbers are just not there.

Mrs Batters added: “There are still options available to us through the new immigration policy the Home Office is designing, and the NFU will continue to campaign to raise awareness of these issues with MPs.

“We urge government to look carefully at these recommendations and add the roles we desperately need so the critical jobs that many non-UK workers perform on our farms at all skill levels are accounted for.”



It follows the National Sheep Association making a similar call to the government, urging a reconsideration of the UK's future migration policy to ensure wider agriculture is not damaged.