Leading pig producers help plan a new era in farm apprenticeships

A group of farmers is planning to put together an all-new apprenticeship scheme for English agriculture, and the group’s pig sector is represented by some of the country’s leading producers.

The group has submitted an expression of interest to the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. If the bid is successful, it will change the face of farm apprenticeships by creating an on-the-job training scheme that’s been designed almost entirely by employers.

The plan is for English agriculture and horticulture to have its own “Trailblazer” apprenticeships that will be an improvement on anything that has gone before; simple to operate and designed to meet the needs of modern agriculture.

“If we’re successful in our expression of interest, our next job will be to develop the actual apprenticeship framework together with the training and assessments for all the roles represented by the participating employers,” NPA chairman Richard Longthorp, who’s part of the bid, said. “This will mean a big slug of work, but one that will be an invaluable investment for our industry.

“It will stand us in great stead as we face up to the challenges of food security, put us quite clearly onto the recruitment and careers radar of school and college leavers and hopefully leave a lasting legacy.”

The bid is being led by the farming industry’s pan-sector Agriskills Forum. The pig farming companies involved in the initiative include: BQP, Elsham Linc, Ermine Farms and Longthorp (Kilpin) Ltd.

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