Drop in numbers looking for work

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New analysis reveals a massive reduction in Google searches for agricultural sector jobs across Poland, Romania and Bulgaria in 2017 according to GK Strategy and onefourzero.

As people increasingly research potential employers online, Google search data is a sound early indicator of changing behaviour and provides insight into the shifting patterns of EU nationals searching for work in the UK.

This decline in interest, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, could lead to a potentially serious recruitment crisis for the UK’s agricultural sector, which already has a 29% shortfall in seasonal workers.

Interest in agricultural jobs is heavily influenced by season, with peaks between December and April, although the window interest has shortened and become more pronounced in 2017, compared to 2016.

There was a 35% drop in people searching for UK jobs overall across the three countries, which could lead to increasing workforce shortages in the UK’s construction, hospitality and health and social sectors.

Commenting Robin Grainger, Group CEO at GK Strategy, said: “Declining online interest indicates an emerging workforce crisis for Britain’s agricultural industry. In the short term producers and representative bodies should work with Government to protect that vital pipeline of workers from abroad.

“In the longer term they should push for the implementation of a new migration system which recognises the reliance of our agricultural production on talented overseas staff.”