Farmers are being called to share their views to shape standards for apprenticeships which will develop the next generation of skilled workers.
Working with AHDB, leading agricultural employers have collaborated, creating proposals to improve training in an industry where 21 per cent of workers have no formal qualification.
The consultation seeks views on a new entry-level General Farm Worker standard to give students a taste of the industry, and a Livestock Unit Manager for those with more experience who know they want to specialise.
Skills development has been recognised as a key factor to bridge the UK agricultural productivity gap.
“Agriculture depends on skilled workers to increase its productivity and apprenticeships provide a perfect route to train while working. As an employer this consultation is your opportunity to steer the future and tell us what you think about the draft standards created with your farming business in mind,”
said Chair of the Agriculture Employer Trailblazer Group, Richard Longthorp.
Launched last year, new Crop Technician and Stockperson Trailblazer standards now have almost 250 apprenticeships underway.
In 2017/18 there were 814,800 people participating in an apprenticeship in England. Only 7,000 of those were in the agriculture, horticulture and animal care sector, compared to the top table where 111,000 apprenticeships covered business, administration and law*.
AHDB Skills Manager, Amie Burke said:
“When qualified, the combination of technical knowledge and practical on-the-job learning ensures apprentices become competent employees. It’s essential to develop our future talent pool.
“This consultation on new apprenticeship standards, supports the creation of a professional framework with qualifications relevant to the needs of employers in the future. The agricultural skills gap has not appeared overnight, but by working together, investing in the next generation we can solve it.”
The consultation closes on 25 October and the survey can be completed online at ahdb.org.uk/trailblazer-apprenticeships.