The forgotten 25,000 is a campaign to bring attention to the 25,000 seasonal workers jobs that are at risk as a result of the UK-EU trade agreement.
Who are seasonal workers?
A seasonal worker is someone who works a temporary contract usually around 5 months in a job which may only exist for a limited amount of time in a location. Seasonal roles can include work in beach resorts, campsites, fruitpicking and ski resorts to name a few. The list of potential jobs is almost endless, from instructors, chalet hosts, bar staff, musicians, maintenance and managers.
Each year there are 25,000 seasonal workers travelling to Europe to work in ski, beach and mountain resorts. The average age is between 18 and 34 but being a seasonal worker does not mean you have to be young. Seasonaires encompass all ages, backgrounds, and all nationalities; they are all united by one thing, their love for travel and adventure.
It doesn’t matter where you are from or what your background is. Working a season gives people who may never of had opportunities to Ski, sail or travel in Europe the chance to do so and earn some money at the same time.
What is going on?
Following the end of the transition period and the signing of the EU-UK trade deal it has become apparent that seasonal workers who have enjoyed the freedom to travel and work in Europe will no longer have this opportunity. Without free movement employers will find it very difficult if not impossible to second staff abroad.
Seasonal workers received barely a mention during the trade deal negotiations, instead much of the focus was on fishing quotas. The outbound travel industry contributes £34.4 billion to the UK economy each year compared to £437m from the fishing industry. Facing increased costs as a result of the trade deal ontop of the effects of a pandemic means the industry is in a difficult position.
Previously employers could recruit their staff in the UK and send them to work in resorts and properties in Europe with minimal paperwork. Now employers have a mountain of administration to work through combined with visas and work permits for each staff member. Then even after all that bureaucracy the issuing of a visa to a member of staff is not guaranteed. With that level of uncertainty for British employers it is pretty much game over for the British seasonaire and we are unlikly to see the same numbers of seasonal workers traveling abroad in future.
Due to the seasonal nature of their employment seasonal workers would not show up as job losses in any usual statistic. But if 25,000 people were to loose their jobs in any other sector it would be headline news.
Outbound travel and seasonal workers were given little consideration throughout the negotiations of the trade deal leaving us feel forgotten and ignored with many finding their previously viable job is no longer possible due to unneccessary red tape.
Why should i care?
The skills and experiences learned on a season, whilst not a trade, and with no certificate or diploma on offer are transferable, benefiting their future employers. Young people learn to think critically, prioritise work loads and work independently gaining a sense of pride in what they are doing as they strive to earn their 5-star reviews at the end of the week.
It is a tragedy that future generations will be denied this incredible opportunity to learn, laugh and grow as individuals working seasons. Some make friends for life and some find love for life. The benefits of working a season on a personal level are immeasurable.
When you multiply those benefits by the 25,000 British Seasonaires working in the EU each year, the new found confidence and skills they learn and bring back home is a major boon for the UK economy and their future employers.
How to help
The aim of The Forgotten 25,000 is to shine a light on all the opportunities that are being lost as a result of the trade agreement. The only way we can do that is by spreading our message and the stories of those who cannot find employment.
Share your story
We want to create a platform for your voice to be heard.
Tell us about
What seasonal work you have done or were hoping to do?
Have you found any issues whilst trying to secure work in the future?
Have you managed to find a job?
What was the recruitment process like?
Or are there just no jobs out there?
What do you think of opportunities for the future?
Good or bad we want to hear your view and story.
Contact your MP
To get any real change it needs to come from parliament. Write to your MP and tell them about the problems you face trying to find work and how it is as a result of the EU-UK Trade deal.
See our suggested template and information on how to contact your local MP.