Welcome to Technically Speaking - the newsletter from the NFU's Science & Regulatory Affairs team! Click on one of the top stories above, scroll down for more news articles or stay put and catch up on what some of our team have been up to over the last month:
Skills and Employment Adviser, Tammie Hill, has been digesting the Immigration White Paper and responding to a consultation on the Shortage Occupation List: "The publication of the Immigration White Paper and subsequent Bill has kept me busy this month both in digesting the detail and writing a briefing (Member exclusive) on what it contains and how it may affect members. Over the coming months as we move into the consultation period, I will be consulting across all sectors and regions and facilitating a full programme of engagement with Defra colleagues and NFU members.
"The other project I am working on is writing the NFU response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s consultation on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). The SOL details the occupations and job titles currently experiencing real labour shortages that could be filled using non-EEA labour across the UK as a whole. Previously, this route has remained extremely limited to agriculture and horticulture and the Government places strict criteria on the roles that can be considered for the list in an effort to encourage employers to train domestic workers.
"The NFU continues to call for swift Government action to provide certainty that in the event of a No Deal, there will be a commitment to provide access to a sufficient supply of non-UK workers at all skill levels."
Meanwhile, Farm Safety and Transport Adviser, Tom Price, has been preparing for the launch of a new transport safety campaign: "This month, I have been working closely with colleagues in NFU Communications and partners in the Farm Safety Partnership on 2019 safety campaigns.
"The first campaign running from January to March will focus on farm transport highlighting 4 key and cost effective safety messages that if implemented could significantly reduce farm transport fatalities and injuries.
"The transport campaign will be launched on social media and at LAMMA on 8 January."
In December, members of the European Parliament’s Special Committee, set up to examine the EU’s pesticide authorisation procedure, voted to approve their report on the matter. NFU Senior Regulatory Adviser, Chris Hartfield, took a closer look at the report and explains what the NFU did to influence it.
What's the law on children driving agricultural machines?: The Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998 make itillegal for children under the age of 13 years to either drive or ride on any agricultural machine. Find out more and make sure you are complying with the law.
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The NFU's work on metaldehyde
Ahead of the government's decision to ban metaldehyde, the NFU’s Plant Health team had been working tirelessly to keep metaldehyde-based slug pellets available. Learn more about the team's work here.
Biotechnology in the UK: The NFU sees biotechnology as a critical part of the solution in helping British farmers and growers meet some of the production challenges they face - catch up on the latest developments here.
The NFU has pulled together a list of agriculture-related courses on offer across England and Wales between January and March 2019, including an online silage science course, a one-day session on the safe use of pesticides and a three-day course on first aid at work.
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