Two new farm staff ‘trailblazer’ apprenticeships in pipeline

A consultation has opened to get farmers’ views on two new “trailblazer” apprenticeship schemes that are 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.

See also: Taking on an apprentice – what farm employers need to know 

The AHDB has launched a consultation on the standards that should apply for an entry-level general farmworker apprenticeship and a livestock unit manager apprenticeship.

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.

Richard Longthorp, chairman of the Agriculture Employer Trailblazer Group, said the consultation was 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 said.

Amie Burke, AHDB skills manager, said: “When qualified, the combination of technical knowledge and practical on-the-job learning ensures apprentices become competent employees.

“The agricultural skills gap has not appeared overnight, but by working together and investing in the next generation, we can solve it.”

The consultation closes on 25 October and the survey can be completed online.