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HomeFarming NewsCian's Corner: Applying for harvest jobs in the UK
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Cian’s Corner: Applying for harvest jobs in the UK

I always wanted to see what farming life was like in different parts of the world and I am lucky that I had the opportunity to do so while I was studying, writes That’s Farming’s Cian McAndrew. 

Getting a job was probably the hardest part and I know a lot of young people, like myself, would love the opportunity to do the same. I have decided to share my experience of applying for harvest jobs in the U.K. in the hope that it might help someone else.

The harvest in the U.K. is a good start if you’re thinking of trying other places. It’s close to home as well and you’ll learn a lot more than you think.

Finding a job

The process of finding a harvest position wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be. The main website for all farming jobs in the U.K. is 4xtrahands.com but there are plenty of others. A lot of the job listings look for harvest experience and tickets for different machines. This was a barrier to a lot of positions for me.

In the end, I was lucky enough to find a company who provided all the training, tickets and courses I needed to fulfil my role, but this isn’t something that every farm can offer.

After applying for every job-listing I could find on the internet, I was eventually contacted by a company in Bedfordshire. I did two phone interviews for the position within a few hours of each other, one with the farm assistant manager and then with the managing director of the company. I was successful in my interview and offered a position as a harvest assistant.

I was sent out a contract to complete and send back. It was about 30-pages long with lots of information about rules and procedures for working with them. It was extremely detailed and took a while to get through before signing.

After that, I was given a start date for July 7th and I received all of the information I needed before I left.

Important tips:

  • Upload your own CV to support your profile on the recruitment website – this will help you stand out to employers;
  • Apply for a national insurance number before you go, you won’t get paid without one;
  • Get a U.K. sim card before you start work;
  • Drive over if you can – it is rare that you’ll be provided with a vehicle; 
  • Make sure to read your contract thoroughly – there is a lot of information in them but it’s important to know where you stand before you start.

Tune in for part two of this article series next Monday. 

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