Agriculture work schemes attract thousands of applicants

The project targets people laid off without a summer job, students, retired people, immigrants and the unemployed.

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File picture of strawberries / Credit: News Now Finland

Two schemes to get people to sign up for seasonal agricultural work have attracted thousands of applicants.

The seasonwork.fi website is run by the government with the backing of ministries and the European Union, while maatilalle.fi us run by a private recruiting agency.

Maatilalle, which is endorsed by the Central Organization of Finnish Horticulture Puutarhaliitto, says that since they launched the free service at the end of March more than 5,400 jobseekers and 76 farms have registered their interest to get involved.

“Finnish farms and gardens are now in great need of the availability of seasonal labor. Usually, seasonal labor has come from abroad, but now farms need a lot of Finnish labor due to the corona pandemic” the company says.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment launched their service with a social media campaign, and make up a shortfall of foreign workers who would normally do agricultural work.

“The coronavirus has cut off entry of foreign seasonal workers for Finnish farms” says the Ministry’s new seasonwork.fi website.

“Finnish farms are currently facing a severe shortage of labour for spring and summer seasonal work. Every available pair of hands is needed, in order to secure domestic food on Finnish dinner tables.”

The scheme is targeting people who have been laid off without a summer job, students, retired people, immigrants, and unemployed people.

Some of the jobs available may include picking berries, planting seedlings or harvesting other crops.