‘Our destiny is unclear’: Indonesian man who paid £1,000 deposit for UK farm job


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The Instagram advert boasted “Job vacancies United Kingdom” above a picture of plump lettuces and the promise of wages greater than double most desk jobs in Indonesia.

When Intan (not his actual identify) noticed it on his cellphone in Jakarta this summer time, he could not resist. He was no farmer however, with a spouse and youngsters to help, the economics have been unarguable.

The identify was from Al Zubara Manpower, a Jakarta-based company working with a British agency, AG Recruitment to search out individuals to return to the UK to work as fruit pickers.

Over the summer time, AG introduced greater than 1,200 Indonesians on seasonal employee visas to farms supplying most main supermarkets. However not everybody who confirmed an curiosity has made it to Britain.

In June, Intan says, he formally signed up with Al Zubaara, and he says the Indonesian company informed him that if he “actually needed the job” he may make a down fee to “assure” his place. He paid about £1,000 and hoped that quickly he could be on his manner.

The cash was loads – greater than a month’s wages in his first rate job in Jakarta – however the advert stated wages within the UK could be as much as £1,500 a month, and earlier posts had promised much more.

He says he was informed by Al Zubara that he would have a gathering with AG’s managing director, Douglas Amesz, at first of August to get him signed up and sorted with a visa. However Amesz by no means got here.

Intan had already give up his job and was desperate to go. However because the weeks glided by, no job or conferences with British recruiters materialized.

Amesz stated he was unaware of this example and by no means had any plans to return to Indonesia in August. He additionally stated {that a} work discovering price, “termed as a deposit or in any other case”, was “unlawful each within the UK and in Indonesia and isn’t condoned by AG in any manner”.

Intan says there are various others like him ready to return to the UK. “We all know that loads of candidates are crying day-after-day, ready for news from AG recruitment,” he says.

About 170 employees who had been given visas and assigned to British farms have been nonetheless in Indonesia ready to go in late August, in accordance with paperwork.

Amesz stated AG was conscious of employees in Indonesia ready to return to the UK and stated he had interviewed “all remaining employees to ascertain their particular person circumstances”. He stated “forms in Indonesia” had delayed work permits for a lot of, and that he had interviewed them about “what, if any, funds the employees have made and to whom”.

But Intam has by no means spoken to Amesz, suggesting that Al Zubara has continued to search for extra individuals since Amesz’s final go to to Indonesia earlier this 12 months.

Amesz stated he did the recruiting straight in Indonesia, and that “AZ have been contracted by AG to hold out providers in Indonesia to assist us set up the demand letter (for the work pathway) and subsequently to supply native promoting through job boards. The contracts with AZ particularly made clear that they have been to not sub-contract the work to 3rd events nor have been they to use costs to the employees.”

AG was given a license in Indonesia to recruit 2,000 employees, which can clarify why Al Zubara continued to promote even after 1,200 had already arrived.

Some British farms are understood to be nervous of taking over employees after the Guardian reported that some had described taking over money owed of as much as £5,000 to unlicensed international brokers. Others now want fewer employees after the recent, dry summer time resulted in a low-volume harvest.

Staff reminiscent of Intan who haven’t but met Amesz or any consultant of AG nonetheless hope {that a} answer may be discovered, “as a result of a few of us actually desperately need to work there,” Intan says.

He provides: “We stopped working to have the ability to severely comply with the recruitment course of for a brand new and higher job. Now we’re unemployed and our destiny is more and more unclear.”

‘Our destiny is unclear’: Indonesian man who paid £1,000 deposit for UK farm job

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