These answers are aimed at people based in Britain who would like to work on a farm in the UK.
Thank you for your interest in working on a UK farm. Please check the frequently asked questions below before contacting a member of the team. We are delighted that we have been inundated with interest in these job vacancies due to the impact of the Coronavirus but please bear with us as we adapt our processes to deal with this urgent situation.
Q. Why do UK farms need workers?
A. Growers of various crops in the UK have relied principally on seasonal workers migrating on a temporary basis from other countries. With international travel limited by the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a need for people who are living in the UK to fill these jobs. These jobs are always been available to people living in the UK but due to low unemployment figures and the seasonality of the work there is a low volume of interest from within the UK.
Q. Where will I work?
A. There are farms and growers spread across many regions of the UK that will need people. We will endeavour to find work that is local to you, or in your preferred geographical area, however it may not always be possible to do so.
Q. Will accommodation be provided?
A. The farms we are recruiting for do provide accommodation for workers, for which a charge will usually be made.
Q. What if I live near to the farm where I will be working?
A. You do not need to stay in accommodation on a farm if you are able to travel to the farm and work the hours required.
Q. Will there be measures in place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus?
As in all sectors of the economy, horticultural and agricultural businesses are putting in place appropriate measures to limit the spread of the virus, and to protect their workers. This applies both to working practices and to accommodation (if required).
Q. Can I find work at the same place as a friend or partner, or as part of a group?
A. We will endeavour to find work for people who wish to work together in pairs and small groups where possible.
Q. What sort of work is available?
A. The picking and packing of fruit and vegetables make up a large proportion of the jobs available. There may be other types of work, but in smaller numbers, for example plant nurseries.
Q. Why do you need to be over 18 years old?
A. The work required is physically demanding and applicants need to be physically mature for the work required. Farming is considered a high risk sector and every employer takes measures as far as reasonably practical to safeguard workers. Many farms are not equipped to manage and support minors.
Q. Do I need experience to do this work?
A. No – it is helpful if you have worked on a farm before but not imperative. Full training will be provided on the farm where you are placed.
Q. When will I be able to start?
A. There are some jobs to be filled as soon as possible, but the peak demand for people to work will be between May and September.
Q. How will I get there?
A. When a job is arranged for you, instructions on how to travel there will be provided. In some cases, the employer may offer to pay for, or contribute towards, your travel costs.
Q. I have completed the form. What will happen next?
A. We are receiving many completed forms and will process them as quickly as we can. HOPS, Fruitful Jobs or Concordia will contact you with more information. Thank you for your patience.
Q. Why was your website not responding?
A. We are very sorry if you have not been able to access the HOPS website at any time. We have had a huge response to this initiative and are working to ensure that the site can handle the increased traffic.
Q. What is it like working on a farm?
Working on farms can be tough – It can be hard work, long hours, early starts, in sometimes difficult weather conditions. We want to be open and honest with you.
Q. What will I be paid?
You will be paid at least the minimum wage and many farms pay National Living Wage or more, depending on how much fruit and/or vegetables you harvest, and the role you do on the farm.
Q. Will I receive training?
All roles offered through HOPS come with training, which can last up to three weeks to give you the best chance of maximising your income whilst on a farm placement. You will be paid whilst you complete this training.
Q. How safe will it be working on a farm?
Rest assured, all farms, many of which are open fields, are following procedures around safe working conditions during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Ensuring our workers’ safety is our top priority. Every site has been inspected by us to ensure that it abides by the highest ethical and legal standards. HOPS holds a GLAA licence, meaning you are in safe hands.
Q. Will I be classed as a key worker in this role?
Anyone who works on a farm is a key worker. This means that you will be able to travel to your place of work, and once you are there. You will also, where there is still space, qualify for childcare normally via local schools. You will also be able to request a Coronavirus test if you are displaying symptoms of the virus while working on the farm.