Immediate Government action is needed now to avoid a critical staff shortage on dairy farms next year, claim the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).
The farming organisation estimates that at least 200-300 full time workers are needed on dairy farms in the spring.
Compared to last year, the IFA estimates a 65 per cent drop in the number of people applying for dairy farm vacancies.
Stephen Arthur, IFA Dairy Committee chairman said work permits need to be cleared by the Government now to prevent a dairy farm staffing crisis.
“The shortage of labour in the dairy sector is not unique. The horticulture, pig and poultry sectors have also also been seriously impacted, with an insufficient supply of workers,” said Mr Arthur.
Mr Arthur pointed out that a successful pilot scheme issuing dairy permits in 2018 had expired.
“There’s an increasing demand for a skilled workforce to work on our dairy farms which is not being satisfied within the EU, and we need access to workers from outside the EU.”
The IFA confirmed that it will be meeting with Minster Damien English on Wednesday (13 October), to discuss launching the pilot scheme again.