With Riverside Training located in a rural district with a strong and thriving agricultural community, I was interested to learn about a new consultation with farmers.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is asking farmers to share their views on two new 'trailblazer' apprenticeship schemes in development.
Trailblazer apprenticeships are gradually replacing the current suite of apprenticeship programmes, with a key objective that the industry sets that the standards of competency apprentices are expected to meet.
The idea is this will help to ensure that the next generation has the required skills for employers.
Working with the AHDB - which delivers transformational projects to drive productivity and boost farming and supply chain businesses - leading agricultural employers have collaborated to create proposals to improve training in an industry where 21% 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.
Richard Longthorp, chairman of the Agriculture Employer Trailblazer Group, says the consultation is an opportunity for employers to make their views known on how the draft standards fit with their own farming businesses.
“Agriculture depends on skilled workers to increase its productivity, and apprenticeships provide a perfect route to train while working,” he says.
AHDB Skills Manager Amie Burke adds: “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.”
In 2017/18 there were 814,800 people signed up to an apprenticeship in England. Only 7,000 of those were in the agriculture, horticulture and animal care sector, compared to 111,000 apprenticeships in business, administration and law.
Skills development has been recognised as a key factor to bridge the UK agricultural productivity gap.
Consequently, Crop Technician and Stockperson trailblazer apprenticeships were launched last year and there are now almost 250 people enrolled.
The trailblazer option was also rolled out for land-based service engineering students in 2017.
Apprenticeships in every sector offer high-quality training, providing people with the skills and knowledge businesses are looking for in job hunters.
Apprentices earn while they learn and can expect to receive around 700 training hours on average.
Analysis has highlighted the positive benefits apprenticeships are bringing to individuals and workplaces across the country, dispelling the myth that a traditional academic route is the only path to a good job.
At Riverside Training we provide plenty of apprenticeship opportunities across a wide range of disciplines from childcare and teaching to digital marketing, business management, customer service and accountancy.
- To start your exciting apprenticeship journey get in touch with our friendly and helpful team on 01775 710945 to find out more about what we can offer.