Tractor tests and Feeding the nation
I am wondering if you can help with this
I have been exchanging emails with my local MP Andrew Bridgen regarding tractor driving tests as I am trying to raise awareness of the cancellation of these, and to get help in trying to reinstate them for our younger farm workers. Farmers are classed as key workers.
I completely understand the need to cancel driving tests at the moment. But they are doing driving tests for critical workers however this doesn’t seem to cover our farmers, surely providing food for the nation is critical?
The main difference with tractor tests is that social distancing can remain due to the examiner not needing to be in the cab, the examination is conducted by viewing from outside the tractor.
I have emailed the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, George Eustice Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and to Grant Shapps Transport Secretary. But I’m asking for your help too.
I am writing to you to ask you consider letting Tractor driving Tests go ahead for farm workers. There’s a new generation of farms technicians moving up and taking key roles in farms, that as summer approaches need their tractor tests. This means the same labourers can stay on the same farms reducing prospect of bringing the virus to the farms. It is our belief that these are essential to carrying on the production of food and milk. This younger generation of farmer, who desperately need their licence are also less likely to be severely affected by the virus, so the time may come when we depend upon them more in the coming months.
Tractor driving tests are a key part of a valued and integral farm Labourer.
I have spoken to my local MP Andrew Bridgen who has sort clarification from the DVSA, and their reply came stating that tests were going ahead only for critical workers. Their reply was as follows “We have a reduced examiner workforce but will continue, as a major priority, to make tests available for those whose work is critical to the coronavirus response, or who work in critical sectors such as health and social care workers.”
Surely putting food on the tables of the country in this difficult time should be classed as critical? As the workforce declines with illness and with reduced migrant workers coming into the country due to travel restrictions, the younger workforce will and is needed more and more.
Could it be looked into the wavering of the tests with a letter of competence from their employer? Maybe for this year, to then be taken when everything is back to normal As I’m sure you are aware tests were abolished during WW2.
Our farm workers may not be on the front line dealing with this awful virus but they are key-workers. Farmers are trying to feed the nation and after an awful last summer and winter could do with more support from our government, a government who so far I and extremely proud of.
I would greatly appreciate this for your consideration