COUNCIL INQUIRY: Farmers claim native Bostonians won’t do jobs

IT IS often said that the employment of migrant workers on the land, in packhouses and in food processing plants has pushed local Bostonians out of work, but the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) insists that is not that case.

Representative Sarah Dawson told the inquiry local people do not want to work in these areas.

She said the long hours, low wages, hard work and seasonal nature of the job have long been a barrier to recruiting local people.

On Wednesday, Mrs Dawson said a lack of work ethic was also an issue for employers.

She told the group: “I have evidence where employers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to try and employ UK citizens and they have got the square root of nowhere.

“It seems to come down to three key things: The lack of work ethic in terms of poor time-keeping and shoddy workmanship, a lack of enthusiasm and a disengagement with the work itself.”

In 2009 across the whole of the East Midlands, 11,856 farm workers were from overseas, while 2,280 were UK seasonal workers, according to the Grow East Midlands report.

Mrs Dawson added that for every UK seasonal worker, there were six migrant workers.