Further details of poultry seasonal worker visa scheme

The government has now appointed new seasonal worker visas route operators specifically for the poultry sector. Photo: Ton Kastermans
The government has now appointed new seasonal worker visas route operators specifically for the poultry sector. Photo: Ton Kastermans

Dedicated labour providers have been announced for the poultry sector to help manage the UK’s seasonal worker vias scheme.

As part of the UK government’s Food Strategy unveiled in June, an allocation of 2,000 visas for seasonal poultry businesses was put forward, to run until 2024, but until last week details of the scheme had been sketchy.

The government has now appointed new seasonal worker visas route operators specifically for the poultry sector. ProForce Ltd and RE Recruitment Ltd have been successful, and anyone wanting to make use of the 2,000 visas for the poultry sector is urged to contact them.

Time is short

James Mottershead, NFU poultry board chairman, welcomed the announcement but warned time was short: “It’s good news that we now have dedicated labour providers to operate the poultry visa scheme. Given the limited time for visa applications to be made due to the RFI process, I’d urge anyone needing visas to contact ProForce and ReRecruitment as soon as possible.”

Since the temporary visa scheme for poultry was announced in 2021, the union has been providing evidence to the government and asking for 4 key issues to be addressed:

  • A dedicated scheme for the poultry sector to give businesses the certainty they need to invest and produce seasonal poultry
  • The costs associated with recruiting workers via the seasonal worker visa route should be management and not outprice smaller businesses who need access to labour
  • The scheme needs to be announced and applications opened in a timely manner
  • If labour providers are to be appointed to the scheme, they should be experienced in recruiting for the poultry sector to help maximise uptake of the scheme.

Deadline for applications on 15 November

The NFU said visas will start to be issued from 18 October and the deadline for applications will be 15 November 2022. Workers will be permitted to stay in the UK until 31 December 2022. There will be a minimum salary set at £10.10 per hour for roles classified as “unskilled” and a pro-rata hourly rate for “skilled” roles.

ProForce, which will be responsible for 1,000 visas, said it was delighted to have been selected as an operator, building on its successful poultry pilot in 2021 and 4 years as a sponsor under the Horticulture scheme.

James Mallick, ProForce compliance director, said he believes the company’s appointment was not only a result of its “ability to provide an effective visa scheme for the industry, but also a reflection of our commitment to lead on compliance and worker welfare. We will continue to promote tools that enhance the worker experience,” he said.

*The contact details are ProForce: poultry@pro-force.co.uk and RE Recruitment – seasonalworkervisa@recruitment.com

Mcdougal
Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist
More about



Beheer