UK immigration concession for New Zealand, Australian shearers
I was wondering how this would work out. Britain has millions of sheep and not all of them walk on two legs. Experienced and highly skilled antipodean shearers have become essential to getting the flock shorn in recent years. That the seasons occur at opposite times of the year in Britain and Australia makes it a logical arrangement
Sheep shearers from New Zealand and Australia should have no problems coming to the UK for the season due to an transitional scheme put in place by the UK Border Agency.
A UK immigration concession has been arranged for overseas skilled shearers to stop a UK skills shortage.
Each year hundreds of skilled shearers are recruited from the southern hemisphere for the shearing season in the UK, however efforts to tighten up Britain's immigration laws meant sheep shearing was removed from a list of approved occupations for a UK Visa.
Chief Executive of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors, Jill Hewitt, said her organisation had been working with government to put the scheme in place which will allow shearers to come on a seasonal temporary basis.
“The NAAC has been actively involved in the process and is confident the UK will not suffer from a shortage of shearers this year,” she said. “We are working closely with shearing contractors in the UK, and shearing associations in New Zealand and Australia, to try and ensure the smooth passage of shearers to the UK.”
British High Commission communication manager, Chris Harrington, said shearers will be allowed to enter the United Kingdom on a concessionary basis, which means they do not have to get a visa but must prove to a British immigration officer that they are genuine shearers.