Farmers are being encouraged to take on apprentices

New standards have now been approved for a stockperson apprenticeship and crop technician, while a standard for packhouse line leader is also nearing completion.

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Farmers are being urged to be proactive in taking forward trailblazer apprenticeships for young people looking to become a stockperson or a crop technician, as part of efforts to develop the next generation of skilled workers.

Trailblazer apprenticeships are being rolled out across most industries and are different to existing apprenticeship schemes in that they are designed by employer groups.

The first trailblazer apprenticeship in agriculture was announced in September 2017, with the launch of new land-based service engineering (Level 3) qualification.

New standards have now been approved for a stockperson apprenticeship, an 18-month Level 2 qualification, along with standards for a Level 3 crop technician role (24 months).

The first trailblazer apprenticeship in agriculture was announced in September 2017, with the launch of new land-based service engineering (Level 3) qualification.

A standard for a packhouse line leader is also nearing completion and is focused on supervisory staff.

Apprentices will typically spend a day a week at college and learn on the job with their employer, with the assistance of assessors, who make regular visits to see them on farm.

Next generation

The AHDB said the new standards offered the opportunity for colleges and employers to work together to develop the next generation of skilled workers.

AHDB senior skills manager Tess Howe said: “Improving skills is a key part to unlocking productivity gains on farm.”

Richard Self, panel chairman of the agriculture, environment and animal care stream of the Institute of Apprenticeships, says the opportunity to earn while you learn is one of the main appeals of apprenticeships.

“Tuition fees for university are a barrier to a lot of people and so the idea of being able to study without incurring big student loans is very attractive,” he says.

“Some people just don’t want to get into debt, while other families simply can’t afford for their kids to go to university.

“However, I think there are also some people who are very practically minded who choose an apprenticeship because they prefer the idea of developing their skills while on the job.”

 

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