Commercial plant nursery says people are not applying for jobs in the region

Johnsons of Whixley

North Yorkshire commercial plant nursery Johnsons of Whixley claims Yorkshire workers are failing to apply for jobs in the region, despite the area’s unemployment rate being above the national average.

Following the impact that Brexit has had on UK employment, the 100-year-old company has a number of employment opportunities at its North Yorkshire base, but is now questioning why local workers seem “hesitant” to apply for the roles.

The company currently has vacancies for both permanent and part-time roles across the business; a significant increase on the number of vacancies within the firm five years ago.

As well as the issues with recruitment, the firm has been hit by new export regulations.

It annually sold £500,000 worth of plants to Northern Irish customers before Brexit, but says new rules stop it supplying rootball, bare root and container plants into the EU and now Northern Ireland.

Graham Richardson, joint managing director, said: “We are currently offering a record number of jobs. We are thankful our operations are so strong at such a tumultuous time for the economy but need the support of people in our region to fill our vacancies.

“Getting people into reliable, sustainable jobs like the ones we are recruiting for will help everyone build back better after the disruption of the pandemic.

“We see plenty of opportunity, but the size of the ‘bottleneck’ will depend on having sufficient staff to satisfy demand.”

Roles are currently available across the nursery, maintenance, sales and administration departments at the business, which is situated between York and Harrogate and is a supplier of plants to infrastructure schemes across the UK.

Richardson added: “We have got some fantastic roles available at the moment, ranging from admin to hands-on work outdoors across the nursery, so there is something for everyone with some excellent progression opportunities.

“Joining Johnsons of Whixley offers the reward of becoming a climate change ‘key worker’ – few businesses can boast that they are net contributors to the environment from core activities.”

Despite many other firms scaling back operations because of the pandemic, the company recently celebrated a record year of sales, achieving a turnover of over £15m for the first time in its 100-year history.