The development approach behind the new trailblazer apprenticeships places the emphasis firmly on employers designing programmes which are relevant, fit for purpose and able to add value to business, says Trailblazer Apprenticeship’s agriculture and horticulture chair, Richard Longthorp.
“Apprenticeships have, in the past, had a bit of a chequered history,” he said. “Some employers have found them a very useful means of both recruiting and training the people they need, whilst others, if I am honest, have found them anything but.”
In tune with giving employers more say in programme development, therefore, the creation of a new level 2 stockperson apprenticeship is now open for consultation, with Mr Longthrop already having told the development working group that he “fully expects at least 20 responses from the pig industry”.
“The fact that it (the apprenticeship) isn’t 100% pig specific on paper should in no way detract,” he said. “Whilst much of the content may appear generic, the way it is taught and assessed will be specific to the relevant species, together with some additional very specific areas, such as AI, etc.
“Furthermore, with a significant cost involved in developing each standard and the associated assessment programme, it makes absolute financial sense to take a generic approach on paper but a specific approach in practice.”
Mr Longthorp added that without effective industry input, it would not be possible to create the “best available stockperson standard”. He also said that if employers don’t engage in the consultation process then they won’t have the right to complain later is they think the new apprenticeship isn’t fit for purpose.
Headline image shows the core organisations behind the trailblazer programme, as it applies to farming.