Government website to recruit fruit pickers crashes on launch
Web platform to support Pick for Britain campaign goes down
A new government website designed to help address the shortage of seasonal workers needed to pick fruit and vegetables crashed immediately after being launched by the environment secretary George Eustice.
The pickforbritain.org.uk site was created to support a government initiative to encourage UK citizens – particularly those whose job has been cut or furloughed – to take on fruit-picking jobs. The UK is currently facing a marked shortage of pickers as the coronavirus has prevented the usual annual influx of seasonal workers from overseas.
Shortly after the UK went into lockdown, unions and opposition MPs warned of the urgent need for additional pickers to be found.
Labour MP Rosie Duffield told PublicTechnology sister publication PoliticsHome that there was a risk of “fields and fields of unpicked fruit and vegetables being left to rot” if the problem was not addressed.
At the daily Downing Street press conference on Tuesday, Eustice urged furloughed employees to “play their part” in ensuring the country is able to cope with harvest season.
He encouraged citizens and businesses to visit a new website where they could advertise or seek work.
“Over the last couple of months, we have been working with industry on a plan to support and help people taking second jobs, particularly those who are furloughed,” he said. “And we have launched a new ‘Pick for Britain’ website that enables people to go online, check what job issues there are, what job availability there is and to marry up job opportunities from growers and employers with those people seeking a second job, particularly those who are furloughed.”
But no sooner had the site been launched during the afternoon briefing than it had gone down, presenting visitors with a message that said the site was “unavailable”.
At 10.30pm it was still largely unavailable. By 9am on Wednesday morning it appeared to be working correctly.
Government attributes 2018 campaign to Moscow and claims more assaults were planned for cancelled 2020 summer games
NAO report reveals that, following heavy coronavirus-related recruitment, departmental staffing levels may return to 2013 levels
National Data Guardian report finds that as many as a third of population lack trust in government use of data
Cabinet Office awards £300k short-term deal to tech specialist
2020 has been a year of unprecedented change for the UK public sector. Today’s agile working technology enables you to meet citizen needs in this challenging operating environment by empower your...
Studies have shown that an engaged employee is happier, more productive, and more committed to their job. So how can we encourage employee engagement? Trickle suggests innovative solutions ...
Organisations need to understand that a single cybersecurity solution alone is not infallible and instead should move towards a multi-layered approach to security, according to experts from...
SAP Concur says it's time for the public sector to embrace more efficient invoice management technology