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Talks address shortage of migrant workers

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DISCUSSIONS are taking place between the Island and the UK government to find a solution to the shortage of migrant workers needed to keep Jersey farming.

Island authorities are hoping to find a solution to the shortage of migrant workers in Jersey. Picture: ROB CURRIE (21944996)

The Jersey Farmers’ Union is due to present a report to Home Affairs next week about the need to find workers, otherwise crops being planted for this winter may rot in the ground without the labour to pick them.

Home Affairs says that following meetings with farmers earlier this year to discuss their problems, talks have taken place with UK Environment Minister Michael Gove and Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes.

‘The Jersey Customs and Immigration Service and the Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture Department have been working with the farming industry on this issue since 2017 and continue to do so,’ a Home Affairs spokesman said.

‘This work resulted in a meeting earlier this year between [then] Home Affairs Minister Kristina Moore and [then] assistant minister Deidre Mezbourian and representatives of the farming community, where options to try to resolve the issue were discussed.

‘The UK have advised that the independent Migration Advisory Committee are gathering evidence on this issue and will publish its final report in September 2018. This will give guidance to a future immigration policy that will accommodate access to seasonal agricultural labour.’

Paula Thelwell

By Paula Thelwell
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