Farm toys

The farming labour shortage

The labour shortage has been a hot topic in the UK for a while now. It is causing problems in many industries, including construction and farming. The repercussions are massive, so we need creative solutions to resolve them. This includes new strategies for training and development, retention, and making it easier for skilled workers to come here. It could also help to look at things like farm toys to teach children and make them consider a career in farming in the future.

The causes

A number of factors are to blame for the labour shortages, particularly in farming. A major one is Brexit. In 2016, a report from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said 20% of the permanent workforce in the industry were EU nationals. A massive amount of seasonal workers were too. So, in choosing to leave the EU and introducing a new immigration policy, many of these workers have now been lost.

The Covid-19 pandemic also had a huge impact. The main factor here is it brought huge restrictions on labour mobility. As a result, even fewer workers were available.

A final cause of labour shortages is the costs. Some farms simply couldn’t afford to hire staff because of higher wage demands. Other expenses elsewhere, such as more expensive fertiliser and fuel, also had an impact.

The issues

We’ve all likely seen times in the last few years when supermarket shelves were empty or running low, particularly with fresh produce. Supply issues were largely to blame. At the worst times, farmers simply did not have the staff to harvest everything. Plus, a shortage of HGV drivers meant issues in the supply chains.

The major concern here is the impact on food security. If there aren’t enough workers, some businesses have to reduce production. In fact, a survey from the National Farmers’ Union said 41% of responders had done just that. It means fewer products can make it onto shelves and to consumers.

Wastage is also a massive problem. It can take a huge amount of labour hours to harvest different types of produce. There can be quite strict timeframes too because the products are perishable. Sadly, without enough workers food can go to waste.

Planning for the future and the use of farm toys

As we said above, there are several strategies to help improve the labour shortage in farming. Some are very interesting, including new businesses offering harvesting equipment hire to bridge the gap. Apprenticeships, career development opportunities, and expanding eligibility can all help.

In addition, it could also be a very good idea to get people thinking about working in farming from a young age. Farm toys can be really good for that. They can teach children about raising crops, looking after animals, and more. You can even get really impressive toys that look and work like real equipment. It can get children excited to work with such big machines.

If you are thinking about farm toys, you can find some really great ones at JS Hubbuck Ltd. Have a quick look today on our website to see a couple of examples.