Post Brexit, British farmers are facing a dilemma in terms of a potentially serious shortage in the availability of seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers from Eastern Europe. Due to Brexit, and the fact that the eastern European economies are thriving, the farmers and growers are facing difficulties in finding farm workers. Post-Brexit migrant farm worker visa scheme is cannot solve the whole problem, but with the power of public funds we can develop a solution to help them overcome this impending crisis and avert a hefty rise in the prices of fresh fruit and vegetables in the shops.
We are Navigator Recruitment Ltd, a new team of dedicated recruitment specialists with connections in 5 different Eastern European countries. We believe that in the times like these, a fresh and unique approach in the recruitment is the need of the hour. Our focus is to screen and recruit individuals, who are suitable for employment within the UK agriculture industry, and provide them with temporary placements on farms around the UK.
With years of practical experience in this field, we are committed to use local, face to face type recruitment to get the EU seasonal workers in touch with the UK farmers. This process involves collaboration with independent recruitment agents from different EU countries, who will advertise these UK casual farm jobs in their respective regions. We have already established partnerships with individual recruitment agents from Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, they are all ready to start.
Our agents will forward leads onto us and we will undertake the final interviews and screening, then we will place each applicant onto our database. The goal is to build and maintain a huge database of available, seasonal labour, which can then be allocated to various farms all over the UK each year. In order to provide an effective solution, we need to find the data of at least 20 000 new workers. We would hope to make the database accessible to farmers from March 2019.
Reason for funds
We have been working on this project from July of this year, but without sufficient funds this has been a very slow process. Initially we need to expand our recruitment operation to other Eastern European countries for example Bulgaria and to assist our independent agents with ongoing, local advertising costs and other expenses like travelling or organising events. We also need to initiate awareness of the project via digital media advertising and information websites to help their work.
This is a huge international project but with the help of your funding we will be able to complete it in time for the 2019 harvest season. Farmers will benefit from a much more cost-effective and reliable recruitment service with much lower fees compared to traditional UK recruitment agencies.
Note: Agents will not receive payment from any funds raised. Instead, they are paid on a commission basis only, when their applicants are employed.
Our experience shows that this unique approach to the recruitment of casual labour, can help to calm the fears of Eastern European workers, and remove much of the negativity associated with the uncertainty of Brexit. UK farmers will be able confidently plan their harvesting with the assurance they will have the labour they need, when they need it. The alternative is for farmers to pay exceptionally high wages to UK workers (if they can find any) at the expense of the UK consumer.
Recruitment agencies will struggle to meet demand…
Many established recruitment agencies have reported that they expect to be unable to secure enough workers to pick fruit and vegetables in the coming year and beyond. A survey by the National Farmers Union confirmed that in 2017 there was a 12.5% shortfall of seasonal workers required to work on horticulture farms. This figure is set to rise dramatically as the consequences of Brexit take hold, leaving farmers and growers facing a labour supply crisis.
Why we started this project?
Balazs Slezak, founder and HR Coordinator: I have been recruiting Eastern European workers in the UK for different industries since 2008. I know the average circumstances of the less fortunate, that is why I strongly believe that with the right approach and sufficient funds we can make UK farms attractive for seasonal workers. The average salary in the UK is three times more than in the countries from which these workers come. The unemployment rate in the poorest regions is still high, and other EU countries are not able to accommodate as many workers as are available. The only issue we have to tackle is the uncertainty caused by Brexit, which is something we can do with the help of our local agents.
How you can help
You can help by sharing this story or by contributing to this crowdfunder. You might think what your small donation would do for us, but, understand that even a small amount matters, as it all adds up. So, by donating the price of a cup of coffee or more, you are helping us in a big way, and taking us a step closer to our goal. Please give what you can today - it really does make a difference.
(source: The Guardian
(source: Sky News)