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There is nothing whatsoever ironic about this matter. Immigrants are here to work in the fields primarily because there is not enough home-grown labour to do the job in the first place. All the farm owners who grow vegetables will tell you the same. They can't get unemployed British people to work for love nor money. Its not just agriculture. Right across the work spectrum its the same. I have been visiting a Cardiff hospital most days for the last 3 months, to visit a seriously ill relative. If you see someone pushing a trolley about, or sweeping or mopping up, they are almost always never white British. These types of jobs are fairly simple and don't require lots of education. And yet South Wales is awash with unskilled, unemployed people, now that all the mines, steel works etc, have closed.

The only reason why foreigners are here because there is work available. If all the vacancies had already filled by the Brits, some of whom have been on the dole for years, then there wouldn't be any jobs on offer in the first place. This is so simple and I can't quite understand why some many people find it difficult to understand !
"Chairman David Metcalf said the way the benefits system works meant a person working long hours in a field could receive as little as £100 extra per month."

Or, put another way, the way the low wage/cheap fruit policy works ...

We understand it very well, mike.
The gist of the story,as I see it, is immigrants moving on from agricultural work as soon as they're able./// They can't get unemployed British people to work for love nor money./// HoHoHo, well maybe not for love.
Does the prospect of paying 15p more for your salad bother you so much, that;
A) you think we should keep trawling the world for cheaper and cheaper and more and more desperate people to harvest it?
B) force immigrants to stay working on the land?
C)compulsory farm work for lazy Brits?

Incidentally, its crucial we maintain hygiene in our hospitals. The staff haven't got time to fill in your questionaire or whatever other method you used to ascertain their nationalities.

The reality is that if these Eastern Europeans stop coming to Britain to work, the veg will rot in the fields, and that is what the farm owners are scared of.

You could raise the wages quite a bit but most of the local Brits won't work anyway.
I never,ever read about crops rotting in fields prior to the immigrants picking them.
“One option, which the National Farmers Union is urging the Government to pursue, is to introduce a new seasonal agricultural workers scheme for migrants from countries such as the Ukraine or Croatia.”

Latest news:

The number of people out of work rose by 15,000 to 2.52 million in the three months to March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The unemployment rate of the economically active population is now at 7.8%.

The claimant count - the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance - fell by 7,300 to 1.52 million in April.

Another option might be to get some of that 1.52 million out in the fields to pick the fruit and veg before we consider shipping in even more people to do the jobs the population already here “will not do”. After all, some of them must live near the cabbage farms. Radical it may seem but many might take the view that it is absolute lunacy to import yet more labour whilst we’re paying a million and a half people to sit at home watching the racing.
That would solve the problem for a few months a year, NJ. The work is seasonal. But, so was hop-picking. Before that was fully mechanised, the job was done by Londoners, taking time to travel down to Kent. Do you feel that a lot of Britons have lost that work ethic? A few years ago, Anglia News offered young unemployed men in the Fens jobs without saying what the jobs were. The men accepted. Then they were told it was work in agriculture. They all, to a man, refused, given that information; one saying, quite seriously, that he'd be working with lots of foreigners.
What it would solve, fred, is the labour shortage on the farms without importing vast numbers of foreign workers who will be out of work at the end of the season, many of whom are unlikely to return home. Surely better to give work for a few months to some of the unemployed already here rather than ship in more who will, themselves, probably be unemployed after a few months.

Yes I do believe many Britons have lost the work ethic. (Indeed a large number have never discovered it). They have been encouraged to do so by successive government who see the easy route of paying people to sit at home whilst importing cheap labour to do the work that those already here will not do. What's required is a bit of gumption and willpower to insist that those capable of work (however disagreeable that may be to them) get out and do it. I had a number of jobs which I really didn't like in my younger life but I did them because I did not expect anybody else to fund my life.

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