For those who want to experience seasonal jobs in UK, seasonal work in a farm is an option to consider. Even for those who do not yet have professional qualifications or do not speak english languages very well, this can be an interesting way to get to know new countries, earn something and get in touch with other workers of all nationalities.
The agricultural sector offers many opportunities for temporary labor throughout the year, but especially between May and June. Most farms are looking for workers for a period of 3 or 6 months. The job offers are mainly related to fruit harvesting, for which no previous experience is required. However, one should keep in mind that it is a physically demanding job and that one must reach the assigned collection goal each day to keep the job.
Workers with experience in the agricultural sector or special skills may apply for longer-term positions in areas other than harvesting (e.g., supervision, quality control, repair and operation of machinery).
Work hours are six to eight hours per day, five or six days per week. Some flexibility is required. Pay may be hourly, piece-rate, or mixed. Most companies provide room and board for their employees, usually in dormitories with four or six beds. Some employers, on the other hand, deduct these costs from salary.
Crop maturity varies from region to region. These areas are the working areas and approximately the collection times.
West coast (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset):
- apples: from August to October; pears: from June to August.
East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk):
- vegetables: from March to November; raspberries: from June to July;
- strawberries: from May to September; apples: from August to October.
Midlands (Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, W. Midlands, Worcestershire):
- raspberries and blackberries: from May to August; black currants and currant – from June to August;
- strawberries: from April to October; horticulture and floriculture: from June to October.
Northern England (Cumbia, County, Durham, Greater, Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Yorkshire), Scotland and Northern Ireland:
- strawberries, currants, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries: from June to August.
Southern England (Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, East, Hapshire and Isle of White and the counties of the Channel Islands):
- strawberries and currants: in June; raspberries and vegetables: from May;
- blackberries: from March to September; cherries: in July; tree fruit trees: from August to October
You can find job offers in the agricultural sector on the website of the trade journal FWI
For job search, it may be useful to contact directly the companies in the sector:
- Bellbrothers nurseries, agricultural company, in the Jobs section you can apply for various jobs, including temporary ones;
- Fruitful jobs, a specialized employment agency for this sector, also offers a lot of useful information for those who choose this activity;
- Friday Bridge camp, is looking for employees to work in the fields, drive trucks and farm vehicles, and pack produce;
- Picking Jobs, search engine (in English) for fruit, vegetable and flower picking jobs in the world
- Brocksbushes Farm, needs more than 200 fruit pickers each year, e.g., for strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, etc.
- Haygrove Fruit, supplies fresh and packaged fruit and flowers to major supermarkets such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury. A total of 300 seasonal workers are needed.
- Bligh Appointments, a London-based agency specializing in skilled and unskilled labor in the agricultural sector
I would also like to point out WWOOF, (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). It is a worldwide movement that matches volunteers with organic farmers and growers. In exchange for your work (usually 4/5 hours per day), you receive room and board but no financial compensation. However, you will have the opportunity to learn the language of the country and learn new things in agriculture and other fields. You have to pay a registration fee for each country you want to join.
Remember that with Brexit, European citizens will also need a visa to work in the UK, in which case a temporary work visa will need to be applied for. In any case, you can find all the detailed information about this and other visas in the article: How to work in the UK after Brexit