Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Cornish MP urges furloughed workers to take fruit picking jobs

Cornish MP urges furloughed workers to take fruit picking jobs

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:21am 20th May 2020.

A Cornish MP is urging workers who have been furloughed to take a second job harvesting crops.

The government has launched a website to recruit British workers to fill a shortage of fruit pickers.

Environment Secretary George Eustice, who also represents Camborne and Redruth, says the coronavirus crisis has resulted in only small numbers of overseas seasonal workers arriving so far.

During Tuesday's coronavirus briefing, people were encouraged to visit the website and sign up, but it crashed within minutes.

You can visit the Pick For Britain website to find out about jobs here.

A government source told Sky News: "It has been up and running since April and already lots of people have found jobs from the site.

"So, it's not a case that it's a new platform that's not working.

"It was due to a surge in demand that the website crashed and we are increasing the capacity of the server at the moment."

Mr Eustice said only about a third of people who would normally come from overseas to help with the harvest are already here - and not many more are expected.

"We will have to rely on British workers to bring harvest home.

"We have launched a new Pick for Britain website that enables people to go online, check what job issues there are, what job availability there is and to marry up job opportunities from growers and employers with those people seeking a second job - particularly those who are furloughed.

"We believe those who are furloughed may be getting to the point that they want to lend a hand, play their part. They may be wanting to get out or supplement their income with an additional job.

"If they do feel that way I would urge them to visit that website and look at the opportunities that are there."

George Eustice, Environment Secretary and MP for Camborne and Redruth

Earlier in the day, Prince Charles backed the initiative by releasing a video in which he said "we need an army of people to help" if this year's fruit and vegetables are to be picked.

People on social media lamented the website crashing, with many saying they had eagerly gone to see if they could get a job but were disappointed.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) supported the campaign earlier this month as it urged farm businesses, labour providers and recruiters to post job vacancies on the site ahead of it being promoted to the public.

The NFU also said growers told them there had been "an overwhelmingly positive response to the call for British workers to come forward this summer".

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Police urge people to protect and respect Cornish beauty spots

Cornwall News: It comes after a spate of fires caused by BBQs on Bodmin Moor

Coronavirus: Universities urged to hold places for students appealing A-level grades

National News: Universities have been urged by the UK Government to be flexible in their admissions ahead of A-level results day this week.

Newer articles

Covid-19: Dozens of deaths occur outside of hospitals in Cornwall

Cornwall News: New figures show 70 have occurred in care homes and private homes

Older articles

450 young people are currently in care across Cornwall

Cornwall News: An appeal has gone out to recruit more foster carers

Calls for phased reopening of Cornwall

Cornwall News: Cornwall Council leader Julian German said that the authority was in discussions with businesses and tourism groups.

Most read

Dogs rescued from hot car in Cornwall during heatwave

Cornwall News: It is understood that the vehicle had been parked for almost two hours

Thunderstorm warning extended to cover three whole days

Cornwall News: Cornwall could see lightning, hail, strong winds and flooding