Future farmers to benefit from two new apprenticeships

Two brand new apprenticeships will be launched this year to equip a whole new generation of farmers with a more extensive and up-to-date skillset.

AHDB has worked closely with industry to establish the criteria for two new Apprenticeship Standards, with the goal of meeting the future needs of the agriculture and horticulture industries during a period of unprecedented change.

The new apprenticeships are the result of an industry-wide consultation survey, commissioned by AHDB, which ran throughout October 2020 to gauge the needs of employers. The results reflected a wide range of farm businesses, covering all sectors and across the supply chain.

As part of an industry first, the General Farm Worker apprenticeship will help budding farmers take their first steps into the industry, with the Livestock Unit Technician scheme honing in on more specialised areas of expertise.

As well as appealing to those already committed to a future in farming, the apprenticeships provide new opportunities for young people who, due to the pandemic, may now be looking to switch to a more secure career path.

School leavers and individuals entering into the world of agriculture for the first time will be able to start their journey with a level two General Farm Worker apprenticeship – a standard which has been widely sought after by industry employers.

With General Farm Worker standard, the apprentice completing their training, which covers both arable and livestock, is able to progress to a level three qualification to gain a greater understanding of their chosen sector. For Livestock Unit Technician, there are a number of progressive pathways to take which can help further their knowledge on livestock and management of people. These can be accessed here.

AHDB Skills Development Manager Amie Burke said: “We‘re delighted that after an intense period of industry-wide collaboration, we’ve been able to get these two new standards over the line. We listened to the feedback from employers who said they needed a wider skillset among their new recruits and that is exactly how we have shaped these two new apprenticeships.

“Taken in conjunction with the three previously developed standards, this apprenticeship offers so much scope for development and covers a range of skills – all of which are essential as we look to the future of farming.

”We are also looking to set standards for the next stage of their career with a level four apprenticeship. For this, we need further input from industry employers to ensure that we continue to provide the right standards to meet the needs of farming industry.”

The General Farm worker will work alongside their supervisor and support daily operations, including identifying and maintaining animal or plant health performance, as well as conducting routine tasks and assisting with general record keeping practices.

Apprentices that progress to a level three qualification will be in a position to manage tasks on farm, applying the skills they’ve learnt such as monitoring animal health and welfare from conception and birth through to the customer and to support business productivity.

The individual will be able to make key decisions on a day-to-day basis, ensuring the standards of cross compliance, farm assurance, biosecurity and infrastructure security are met.

The new apprenticeships have been welcomed by the Development Board of The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH). TIAH will launch later this year as the home of professional development and training for the agriculture and horticulture industry in England.

David Fursdon, Chair of the TIAH Development Board said: “Equipping people working in farming and growing with a more extensive skillset, and promoting our exciting industry to newcomers, is at the heart of TIAH’s ethos.

“We therefore very much welcome the launch of these two fantastic new apprenticeships and we will certainly be shouting about them as part of our work to promote the opportunities available from existing training providers and the range of excellent career opportunities that are available in farming and horticulture.”

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