Making the case for temporary migrant worker programmes: evidence from the UK’s rural guestworker (‘SAWS’) scheme

Scott, Sam ORCID: 0000-0002-5951-4749 (2015) Making the case for temporary migrant worker programmes: evidence from the UK’s rural guestworker (‘SAWS’) scheme. Journal of Rural Studies, 40. pp. 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2015.05.005

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The UK has had a Temporary Migrant Worker Programme (TMWP) for agricultural ‘guestworkers’ since 1943. Most recently referred to as the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS), SAWS accommodated 25,000 workers per annum by its 2004 peak. However, the UK government then announced the scheme’s closure (initially for 2011, but then delayed until 2014). This paper examines employers’ response to this closure and, specifically, juxtaposes the academic critiques of TMWPs with the very strong employer preference for them. This preference, the paper concludes, is about the way in which TMWPs allow labour to be more readily and more extensively controlled, and, also allow employers access to ‘better quality’ workers. Considering these benefits of quality and control, alongside the academic critiques, the paper concludes that SAWS should be retained, but with major changes.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agriculture, Guestworker, Harvest, Labour, Migration, Rural, Seasonal, Temporary
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Sam Scott
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2016 12:54
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:58

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