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British Workers Try Their Hand at an Unfamiliar Job: Berry Picking
This is an excerpt of the original article。 Read the full article at the bottom of the page。
By Claire Moses and Geneva Abdul
In this pandemic year, Britons can be found in fields across the country, doing something they probably would not have imagined a few months ago: working as farm laborers, picking berries.
Fruit picking in Britain is traditionally done by seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Overall, 70,000 to 90,000 seasonal workers are needed to pick all the fruit and vegetables that grow in the country.
Because of travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many of those workers haven’t been able to make the trip, have been delayed or have chosen not to come. By the time the pandemic hit Europe, most of the crops had been planted. As a result of the looming labor shortage, the government started a “Pick for Britain” campaign in April to attract British workers. Prince Charles released a video in which he said the country needed “pickers who are stickers.”
Farmers say they have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest in these jobs。 They were afraid Britons would stay away from jobs usually performed by overseas workers。
But the placement of workers has its challenges. Desk work this is not: There is reaching, twisting and bending, and the need for good eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills (to avoid tearing the plant when picking a delicate strawberry).
1. try one’s hand at sth if you try your hand at sth, you try to do sth for the first time to see if you like it or if you are good at it
I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing a novel.
He decided to try his hand at painting and discovered he was quite good at it.
2。 start a campaign if you start a campaign, you organize a series of activities to try to achieve sth with one aim。 It can advert on TV or posters in the street
The school has started a campaign to stop litter.
The government has started a campaign to make people do more exercise。
3。 looming UK /ˈluːmɪŋ/ US /ˈluːmɪŋ/ adj。 if sth is looming, if situation or an event is looming it will happen soon and people are worried about it, because it’s bad。 So, we only use this for bad things, sth bad that happen soon
an economic crisis is looming
= the looming economic crisis
Her exams are looming, and she is not prepared。
4. stick UK /stɪk/ US /stɪk/ vi. if you stick at sth you continue trying hard to do sth difficult. If sb tells you to stick at it, they are telling you to keep trying, don’t give up
I know the task is difficult. But you must stick at it if you want to succeed.
When you learn a foreign language, you will find it hard at first. But stick at it, (and) it will become easier.
5. pleasantly surprised if you are pleasantly surprised about sth, you are happy about an unexpected event, sth surprising happened and it made you happy
I was pleasantly surprised when she arrived at the party。 I didn’t think she would come。
I was pleasantly surprised to get a B in the history exam。 I didn’t expect to pass it!
- How was the trip?
- You know, I thought it would be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised.
6。 stay away from if you stay away from sth, you avoid that thing, you don’t do it because you think that it will have a bad effect on you。 We often use it with food, if you avoid certain types of food
I’m on a diet so I’m staying away from chocolate and cakes。
The doctor told me to stay away from spicy food for a few days。
7. placement UK /ˈpleɪsmənt/ US /ˈpleɪsmənt/ n. in this sentence, placement means finding people and putting those people in the right job
work placement 工作实习（means a temporary job for students to get some work experience while they are still studying on a course）
In the third year, students will have a chance to do a four-week work placement in a big company。
He had a one-month work placement in a car company.
8。 desk work this is not this is a poetic style。 It sounds like old English, we don’t use it very often in modern English。 It is used to show contrast
A sunny day it was not.
A happy girl she was not.