This BBC report highlights the extent to which the UK crop picking sector relies on migrant workers and the impact that a workforce shortage can have on our food supply. Currently, European nationals carry out many of the lower skilled yet essential jobs in the UK without restriction. From 1 January 2021, any European nationals wanting to come to work in the UK will need immigration permission and the problem is that the new immigration system currently has no route for lower skilled work. While job losses as a result of Covid-19 may soften the impact by temporarily increasing the pool of workers willing to do lower skilled roles, the longer term analysis suggests that recruitment and retention of staff in these areas is going to become a critical issue for businesses.
Coronavirus: Furloughed workers urged to become fruit pickers