Nearly 5,500 temporary poultry workers and haulers will be permitted to travel to and work in the UK in the run up to Christmas. This will be delivered through the Temporary Workers route. The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges. The decision will ensure that farmers and food producers have access to the necessary workforce to mitigate any potential risks to Christmas food supply. Recruitment for additional short-term HGV drivers and poultry workers will begin in October and this route will be valid until 24 December 2021. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), working with the Department for Transport and Department for Environment, food and Rural Affairs, will process applications, once made, in a timely manner. British Poultry Council CE Richard Griffiths said: The Govt.’s move to allow temporary workers for the poultry meat sector will be welcomed by seasonal producers. Throughout the COVID-19, the Govt. has implemented an unprecedented package of measures to support workers and businesses right across the UK, so that we can Build Back Better and support the national economic recovery.

We are moving to a high wage, high skilled economy and the government is encouraging all sectors, including poultry, to adapt and make employment more attractive to UK domestic workers. Defra is working with industry and DWP to raise awareness of career opportunities in poultry among UK workers.