The McDonald's Progressive Young Farmer Training programme is to run for another year and students who are over 18 and studying towards an agricultural course are invited to apply for the 2013 intake.
The 12-month training programme provides aspiring young farmers with the opportunity to learn a range of farming and business skills and work across the whole food supply chain, from farm to fork.
The programme is as much about working as it is learning and the students will be mentored by leading farmers and food manufacturers while also having opportunity to work in a McDonald's restaurant.
Christina Ford, one of the three students to start the training programme last year, said: "I understand now just how many roles a farmer today has to play and in a typical day I can go from feeding animals through to working on the farm's overall business plan."
The deadline to apply for the 2013 programme is Friday 23 November and interested students should speak to their careers department for further information.
The programme forms part of a wide industry response to the significant challenge of an ageing workforce in farming. Research has shown that only one in 10 people working in the UK farming industry are aged between 16-24, despite the need for 50,000 new entrants in the next 10 years.
Michael Smith, Lantra's director of policy, research and development, said: "Young people coming out of schools, colleges and universities have a massive role in plugging this urgent need for new talent."
"Young people coming out of schools, colleges and universities have a massive role in plugging this urgent need for new talent."
The training programme comes at time when the industry is looking for young people from all walks of life to consider farming as a career. "Farming requires business and technical skills, a sense of entrepreneurship, and offers an alternative to the traditional 9-5 office environment", said Mr Smith.
This call was echoed by McDonald's who are also supporting Farmers Weekly's groundbreaking initiative, the Farmers Apprentice. "It is important for young people who are studying broader subjects such as business studies, maths and science to think seriously about a career in agriculture", said Warren Anderson, director of UK food supply chain for McDonald's.
But it doesn't stop there, the ten finalists who competed at the Farmers Apprentice bootcamp earlier this month came from a range of backgrounds including marketing and an English literature student. You will be able to see how they fared in the first episode of the Farmers Apprentice being screened at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27th November at www.farmersapprentice.co.uk.
|Case study |
Name: Charles Clack
Background: Farmers son from Devon
Education: BSc in Agricultural Business Management from University of Reading
Programme placements: Award winning beef farm, OSI Food Solutions, McCain's and McDonald's restaurants
Quote: "It's great to be mentored by such inspirational farmers, and they've taught me as much about their overall business plan as how to operate the latest farm machinery and handle livestock."
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