A FAMILY-run commercial plant nursery has more vacancies available than five years ago.

Johnsons of Whixley, near Kirk Hammerton, has struggled to fill roles despite the regional unemployment rate being above the national average.

Following the impact of Brexit on UK employment, the 100-year-old company has a number of permanent and part-time opportunities despite recruitment efforts.

Yorkshire’s unemployment rate is 4.8 per cent. The number of national job vacancies from July to September 2021 peaked at a record high of 1,102,000, with national unemployment at 4.5 per cent and redundancies returning to pre-pandemic levels at 3.6 per cent per thousand employees.

Johnsons was also impacted through new export regulations.

The firm annually sold £500k 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 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 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 across the nursery, maintenance, sales and administration departments, with progression opportunities.

Graham said: “We offer one of the best environments to work in; most of the time you’ll be outside in the fresh air.

"We offer various bonuses, treats and regular social activities, an early finish on a Friday, generous holiday entitlement, company pension scheme and free car parking.

"We have a culture of inclusivity and genuinely view our employees as our wider family.

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

Despite many firms scaling back operations because of the pandemic, Johnsons of Whixley recently celebrated a record year of sales, achieving a turnover of over £15 million for the first time in its 100 years.

To find out more about the roles visit: https://nurserymen.co.uk/careers-at-johnsons-of-whixley/