Addressing the skills gap: The apprenticeship approach

Depending on which study you look at, the average age of British farmers is between 55 and 59; and increasing numbers of young people from rural areas are choosing to ditch farming as a career and search out fame and fortune in the big city. One practical approach to turn this tide was to launch the Soil Association Apprentice scheme in 2007, with the aim of training up young (as well as not-so-young-but-willing) people with an interest in going back to the land. The two-year scheme is a mix of hands-on practical work placements based on organic holdings, alongside weekend seminars to study theory and principles. Now part of the Future Growers’ Scheme, the apprenticeship has been a very successful programme training new growers and farmers, many of whom have gone on to find jobs in the sector, run organic holdings, and even start new projects from scratch.


Theme: other
Published: 22nd January 2014
Author: Kate Collyns