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Agricultural agencies: where is recruitment’s ‘Garden of England’ statistically located?

Agriculture plays a more important role in UK recruitment than you might think.

With a growing workforce of half a million people and a high demand for seasonal workers, the industry poses a unique challenge to agencies.

We wanted to find the centre of agriculture recruitment, so analysed the data of 8,318 agency branches across 1,619 locations.

Read on to discover which town has the most agriculture agencies in the UK and where there might be a demand for more.

How many agricultural recruiters are there in the UK?

From our sample of UK agencies, we can see that around 2.9% recruit within the agricultural sector.

This makes the industry one of the smaller recruitment markets in the country, ranking 48th out of the 71 industries we categorised.

Number of specialist agriculture agencies

This figure includes multi-sector and niche agencies, but we wanted to know just how many specialists there are – in other words, how many agencies have a genuine agricultural focus.

To do this, we pulled out recruitment agencies that only recruited in fewer than five industries.

We determined that around 40% of agencies that recruit within agriculture are specialists. This ranked it 39th, coming in above fashion, media and graduate agencies.

Where are the agricultural recruitment agencies?

According to our data, Peterborough has more agricultural agencies than anywhere else in the UK – accounting for 4.1% of specialists.

This is jointly followed by Nottingham and Bury St Edmunds, which are both home to 3.1% of the market.

Graphic showing the hotspots for agricultural recruitment across the UK.

After tallying agency branches from across the UK, it’s clear that the east of England is a real magnet for agricultural recruiters – with Norfolk attracting more than any other county.

In fact, by combining Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, we can see that East Anglia is home to nearly a fifth of specialists.

Where are jobs being advertised in agriculture?

While we might expect the East Anglia area to be an agricultural agency leader, does demand really justify supply?

To work this out, we took a proportionally representative sample of agricultural vacancies to find out where the jobs are being advertised.  

Table showing percentage of agricultural jobs vs percentage of specialised agricultural recruitment agencies.

In our sample, East Anglia came out on top for job vacancies – with Cambridge having more than any other town or city.  

This was followed by the south-east and the south-west, which combined, make up a quarter of agricultural job vacancies.

These figures largely mirror our agency data, but when compared with the size of the recruitment market, the home counties stands out as having a particularly large share of jobs in relation to the number of local agencies.  

To sum up: where is recruitment’s ‘Garden of England’?

For recruitment agencies, the ‘Garden of England’ seems to be firmly planted in the east, with East Anglia and the south-east attracting 35% of agencies.  

The centre of the agriculture recruitment industry appears to be in East Anglia, but it seems there may be a demand for new agencies in the home counties and the south-west.

While jobs are also more commonly available in the east of England, they are slightly more evenly distributed than agencies – with a particularly high number advertised in the south-west, Midlands and the home counties.

This suggests, that while East Anglia may be the centre of the agricultural agency market, there may be a demand for specialists to launch in other areas of the country.


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