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Agriculture Apprenticeships

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Helping you find a career in the Agriculture industry

If you’re fond of working outdoors and aren’t afraid of a bit of manual labour, the agriculture industry might just be for you.

The agriculture industry is responsible for producing and cultivating all UK-based food products. Plant products can also be used to create medicines that our healthcare services rely on.

Technology and science are both playing an increasingly important role in agriculture, as our farmers have to respond to the increasing demand for meat and crops. The agriculture industry relies on scientists to help come up with and develop new agricultural methods.

The regulations in this industry are set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for safe, high-quality produce farmed in an environmentally sustainable manner.

A lot of the work in agriculture can require working independently and for long periods of time, so you need to be comfortable working in this sort of environment.

Skills & interests required for a career in Agriculture
To work in agriculture, you’ll need a few key skills to succeed.

The work is likely to require an element of manual labour, so you will need to be physically fit. It will also help to have a technical knowledge of agricultural processes and the environment so that your crops or livestock will flourish.

You will also need an understanding of animal welfare and how agriculture impacts the environment. It’s important that your work within the regulations set by DEFRA.

Agricultural work can be quite stressful as the work can be affected by elements outside of your control – i.e, the weather. In these circumstances you have to be able to remain calm and cope with the problem the best that you can.

Agricultural workers often have to negotiate deals with suppliers and be able to communicate well between other workers.
- Negotiation
- Organisation
Agriculture apprenticeships & other career progress routes for school leavers
Those who wish to progress quickly in this field may find it useful to take a training course that is certified by theInstitute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM).

The progression route for agriculture will depend on which role that you pursue. Farm hands may wish to work up the ladder and eventually become a farm manager, overseeing the farm’s operations and making sure that the farm is yielding as much profit as possible.

Those who go more into the science side of agriculture may need to pursue further education qualifications to progress their career.
Tips for getting into the field

  • Farm work is a good an accessible way to get into the agriculture industry, even if this is not necessarily the work that you want to end up doing.

  • Swot up! No matter what area of agriculture you wish to go into, a detailed knowledge and understanding of the industry will help you massively.

What do Agriculture professionals get paid?
Here are average salaries for some jobs within the industry, according to Payscale:

Farm manager - £27,025

Farm worker - £18,246

Agronomist - £30,339

Compliance officer - £27,100
What qualifications do I need for a career in Agriculture?
There are a variety of apprenticeships available for school-leavers in agriculture that you can begin straight after your GCSEs. Intermediate apprenticeships gear you towards being a farm worker, or certain apprenticeships allow you to specialise in a more specific area of agriculture – such as conservation work, or dairy farming.

To get onto these apprenticeships you may need to have at least a grade 4 (or C) in English and Maths GCSE, but check the course website for specific details.

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