Standards set to develop future farmers and growers

To develop the next generation of skilled farmers and growers, AHDB, NFU and industry employers have joined forces to set standards for three new apprenticeship schemes.

The green light has now been given for two new standards for apprenticeships as either a Crop Technician or a Stockperson, using feedback from some of the largest and most productive employers in the industry.

Now created, the new standards – known as Trailblazers – offer the opportunity for colleges and employers to work together to develop the next generation of skilled workers, not only to increase their knowledge and skills but also build the behaviours, which can help workers to be successful in the future.

AHDB Senior Skills Manager Tess Howe said: “Improving skills is a key part to unlocking productivity gains on farm. These new standards will help ensure that even the newest recruits to farming and growing businesses can support the drive to improve performance while they work.

“Over the past three years, we’ve worked closely with the industry and we now need more employers to step forward and work with training providers to bring new entrants into their businesses. The flexible nature of the new Trailblazers schemes also means that they can be used as a structured way of upskilling existing workers.”

Equipping workers with core technical and business skills has been identified as a strategic priority by AHDB to drive productivity in UK agriculture, which typically has an aging workforce – with around a third of all business holders being aged 65 years and over.

A third standard, for a Packhouse Line Leader, is also nearing completion and is focused on supervisory staff.

Guy Smith, Deputy President at NFU, said: “These new apprenticeship standards will play a huge role in attracting new talent to our industry, and allow us to develop our skills.

“Apprenticeships which provide training to an industry agreed standard, offer farmers and growers an excellent way to recruit new people and develop them while they work, helping to ensure businesses can continue to be productive, profitable and progressive.

“We would encourage our members who are interested in providing an apprenticeship to speak to their local land-based college or private provider, and find out more about how they can get involved, either for existing employees or for a new post which they would like to advertise.”

Continually improving people management has been identified as one of the eight key factors, which differentiate the top-performing farms in AHDB’s latest Horizon report, to download a copy visit: ahdb.org.uk/brexit

To find out more about costs and how to take on an apprentice visit gov.uk/take-on-an-apprentice.

Details of the specific industry standards are available on instituteforapprenticeships.org and contact details for the land-based colleges can be found at landex.org.uk.

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.