> Advanced Job Search

Quick job search
Quick Search    

Find farm jobs in the UK

There’s no interest in people without visas
Utter the word ‘Antipodean’ to a farmer in the UK and they’ll dance in their dungarees. Kiwis in particular are the business in their eyes so, if you are a farmer looking for pastures anew, then head for the hills.

A rewarding job

“One farmer I know has a new Kiwi on his farm every year and he always jokes to me, ‘why read books when a Kiwi can tell me all about harvesting’,” says Mary Rowles, who runs farming recruitment website 4Xtra Hands.
Most farmers will concur. Apart from adapting to slight differences such as less pasture, more silage and higher yields per cow, for example, farming in the UK will prove an easy – and a rewarding transistion from home.

When and where to look

Knowing when to pitch your talents is a good place to start.

Lambing assistants are needed between January-May and tractor drivers are required between March-November, when the need for general farm labour also increases.

From June, combine drivers should come out of the woodwork, and during harvest, between July-September, if you haven’t scored a job, you’re doing something wrong.

If you’re a beef farmer, expect work between February-May, when you are bound to be impressed by the condition of UK cows.

There is work all year round for milkers and fencers, who will also be better placed than most farmers during winter, when most farms close down.

Christian Marletta, from farm recruitment firm, Landforce, says if you have the right skill set you can pretty much move from one harvest job to the next.

“For example, you could go from combine harvesting to lambing with dairying in between the harvest seasons as its an all round activity.”

Good pay, hard work

The average hourly rate across the board is about £8 per hour and to say you’ll work hard is an understatement.

Expect 13-hour days, seven days a week for months on end, covering anywhere from 120ha on a small farm to 4000ha if you are working for a contractor bailing straw

Living conditions

Accommodation is often provided with jobs and can vary from houses with central heating, to farm cottages, or mobile homes.

Workers will be expected to pay council tax and utilities, but this does vary and it’s best to clarify the details with your employer from the start.

What you'll need

Most jobs are advertised online, otherwise, trade magazines Farmer’s Weekly and Farmer’s Guardian are worth a scan.

When you’ve found a job you like the sound of, bear in mind that “farm owners are just not interested in people without visas,” as Rowles bluntly puts it.

You will also be hard pressed to get secure employment without a valid driver’s licence – preferably a UK one.

Employers do follow up on references, so make sure you have some, as well as a record of all your farming experience.

Earn and learn

While you can offer tricks of the trade from Down Under, there’s also something in it for you.

George Gordon, managing director of farm recruiter LKL, cites “great exposure to European practices and technology and experience working among another culture, which will add weight to your CV” as just some of them.

Working the land

Hayden McPhail, 24, from Taupo, New Zealand, grew up on a dairy farm in Tirau.

 He landed a less-than-desirable job on an antiquated dairy farm in Scotland after arriving in the UK in December 2008, but eventually scored a stint as a turkey farmer in Kent, which he found by world-of-mouth.

After a period of travel, McPhail put in 140-hour weeks as a straw bailer.

“Your expenses end up being only groceries and maybe a haircut, so when you are earning £200 a week, saving is easy,” he says.
“Once your name is out, it’s not hard to get more work, but my initial advice would be to look for jobs on the internet and, once you’ve got one, keep up the good name that others before us have left.”

Words: Rebecca Kent

< Back to Recruitment News listing

Featured Recruiters

  • Silvermentor Homeshare / C & V Inspire
  • ITN Mark

Featured Employers

  • Union Income Benefit
  • Urban Meadow

Related Jobs