PRO-FORCE PILOT OPERATORS

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Poultry workers and HGV drivers added to the Seasonal Worker Scheme

8th October 2021

The number of temporary poultry workers permitted to travel to and work in the UK will increase in time for Christmas, the government has announced.

Up to 5,500 poultry workers will be able to work in the UK ahead of Christmas 2021. This will be delivered through the Temporary Workers route.

This comes as the Department for Transport announced that up to 5,000 drivers will be able to come to the UK to transport food and fuel in the run-up to Christmas.

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. 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.

If you are a labour provider looking to access this scheme, please submit your details here.

Please be aware Pro-Force Limited will be conducting all our recruitment directly in Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Moldova and Morocco.

We do not work with third party companies. If you are asked to pay money to be part of this scheme by an individual or company, please do not make any payment. Pro-Force Limited will only contact you via our website or authorised social media pages and email accounts.

The only costs to our staff will be for their own VISA and transport to the UK.

If someone approaches you to ask for money for a job, please do not pay them, and report it to us via email on enquiries@pro-force.co.uk, in order to enable us to escalate it to the proper authorities.

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Seasonal Worker Pilot

We are pleased to have been selected by Government to continue to be an operator of the Extended Seasonal Worker Scheme. Our selection is testament to the success of the 2-year pilot, the strength and depth of our teams supported by extensive systems and processes designed to improve efficiencies and protect our workforce.

We are seen as the leaders in ethical recruitment, being the first large recruiter to bring all recruitment in-house and ensure worker fees were abolished from our supply chains.

The business has been instrumental in developing guidance for the industry including Retailers, The Fresh Produce Consortium and The Association of Labour Providers. We are well placed to build on the success of the pilot and continue to provide the horticulture industry with the seasonal labour it needs.


Workers’ Rights App Partner with Leading Labour Provider to Reach More Migrant Workers

12th August 2021

Despite the UK leading the way for workers’ rights, exploitation of migrant workers is still all too common. Complaints include being charged illegal recruitment fees, not having a contract and being unaware of local laws.

In September 2020, in collaboration with the Association of Labour Providers and partner organisations, Just Good Work launched a free mobile app, giving jobseekers and workers from the UK and abroad critical information and advice for everything needed on the journey into a new job. Subjects covered include recruitment, employment, life outside of work, changing jobs and moving on. Practical aspects such as weather, culture and housing are also addressed, to enable workers to settle in to working life in the UK in the best way possible.

Providing information to workers in their own language is key to ensuring they know their rights and responsibilities and are better protected from exploitation. Leading labour provider and recruitment agency Pro-Force have covered the cost of translating the Just Good Work app in to Ukrainian as part of their commitment to compliance, while SHPRESA, a charity which supports Albanian-speaking refugees and migrants in the UK, has completed the Albanian translation as part of their programme.

Director of Compliance at Pro-Force, James Mallick, commented, “Compliance is at the heart of everything that we do, and the majority of SWP workers that we recruit originate from Ukraine. So it made perfect sense for us to assist Just Good Work with the Ukrainian translation, so that our workers can be as informed about their employment rights as possible.”

The app, which is free of charge to all workers, re-launched with the new Ukrainian translation on Monday 9th August 2021.


 2021 Seasonal Worker Pilot Update

1st May 2021

After a successful two-years, the pilot is being extended for a further 12 months to allow for a better assessment of the scheme given the impact the Coronavirus Pandemic has had on the UK.   The number of visa’s available in 2021 will be increased to allow the recruitment of 30, 000 seasonal workers from outside of the UK.

Pro-Force are delighted with the performance delivered in 2020 and are seeking to maintain these high standards in 2021.

The increase in visas will allow us to improve the support we offer to employers that participated in the pilot in 2019 and 2020, and also offer support to growers across the UK who have not yet benefitted from the scheme.  Please register your interest in working with us by registering as a “labour user” on our website www.pro-force.co.uk/seasonal-worker-pilot/.

If you would like to source labour through the scheme in 2021, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible so that we can ensure our recruitment campaign includes your requirements.

Recruitment is already at an advanced stage in both Ukraine and Moldova for returnees and new candidates.  Being the third year of the scheme, there is an increase in the levels of applicant interest.  In addition, we are making good progress in establishing recruitment from Russia, Belarus and Morocco for 2021 as development source countries.

We are delighted to announce Sam Zubaidi will be joining Pro-Force in January 2021.  Sam joins us having led Concordia’s Agriculture Recruitment Division for the last 4 years where he was the strategic lead for the Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme and responsible for the overall strategy and compliance of the division.  Sam’s appointment will further strengthen the Pro-Force team and help us deliver for our clients in 2021 and beyond.


Increase in SWP numbers from 1,250 to 5,000

25th February 2020

We are very pleased to confirm the government announcement today outlining the expansion of the Seasonal Worker Pilot quota from 2,500 workers to 10,000 workers for 2020.  The national quota will be split equally between the two scheme operators providing Pro-Force with an annual quota of 5,000 VISAs.  This will give Pro-Force the capability to recruit and apply for visas for 5,000 associates to come  to the UK, from non-EU, countries and work in edible horticulture.

In conjunction with the increase in visa’s, the government have increased the standards within the scheme as a result of the exceptional performance data produced in the first year (2019) of the Pilot.  In particular, the key performance indicator targets, detailed below, which must be achieved are being tightened for 2020.

  • 95 percent of sponsored migrants are granted entry clearance visa – an increase from 90 percent – in 2019 Pro-Force achieved 99.84%
  • 3 percent or less of sponsored migrants who obtain entry clearance fail to arrive at their place of employment – a reduction from 5 percent – in 2019 Pro-Force achieved 99.92%
  • 97 percent of sponsored migrants who obtain entry clearance return overseas at the end of their permitted stay – an increase from 95 percent – in 2019 Pro-Force achieved 100%

We are delighted with the performance delivered in 2019 and are seeking to maintain these high standards for the benefit of any ongoing scheme and the wider industry.

In addition, we have been reminded that this is a Pilot Scheme, and there is an expectation from the government that as an operator of the scheme we are required to be “Piloting” new source countries, sectors, regions of supply in the UK and ways in which the scheme could be operated in the future.  In order to further these aims, we will be developing recruitment from some new countries Morocco, Russia and Belarus alongside Ukraine and Moldova throughout 2020.

The increase will allow us to improve the support we offer to employers that participated in the scheme in 2019.  We are very pleased that all but one farm with who we have supplied via the Pilot in 2019 wishes to continue to work with us in 2020 and wants to source more workers.  This is as a direct result of their experiences in 2019, and a testament to the innovative and progressive approach taken by the delivery team at Pro-Force who have gone above and beyond to ensure the first year of the Pilot was a success.

As a result of the increased allowance and our requirement to “pilot” the scheme, Pro-Force will be taking on additional Labour Users.  Please register any interest in working with us on the pilot here.

We are reviewing our charges for the second year of the Pilot scheme as a result of the increased economies of scale which the increased quota will provide us however we are pleased that the feedback from the first year of operation has shown that the pricing model and system we have adopted is delivering exceptional value for money for farmers and growers and the increased numbers will further improve this.

We are pleased to confirm that recruitment is already at an advanced stage from Ukraine and Moldova where we recruited in 2019 for both returnees and new candidates, this being the second year of the Pilot has made a big difference in the applicant interest building on the worker experiences in 2019.  In addition, we are making good progress at establishing recruitment from Russia, Belarus and Morocco for 2020 as developing source countries.

If you have any questions or queries relating to the content of this statement please contact James Mallick on jamesmallick@pro-force.co.uk.


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