With the farming industry requiring 60,000 new employees by 2020 simply to replace existing farmers, Sainsbury’s is calling on young adults to consider a career in farming as it opens applications for its horticultural and agricultural apprenticeship programme.
The Sainsbury’s apprenticeship programme, which is run in partnership with Staffline, gives young people aged 16 and above the chance to work with some of the retailer’s most progressive food suppliers, many of whom use the latest innovations and technology in the sector – from learning the digital infrastructure of glasshouse computer systems to managing crop growth through the use of drones and smart phone apps.
Every 12 weeks apprentices visit different growers in Sainsbury’s supply chain, while in between visits they learn the practical aspects of their chosen career from harvesting; identifying and dealing with pests, diseases and disorders; planting; monitoring moisture and nutrients; pruning and use of state-of-the art equipment and digital tools.
Robert Honeysett, Sainsbury’s Horticultural Manager, said, “Our research reveals there’s a significant gap between what young people think of farming, and some of the jobs that are available today. We’re passionate in playing our part to support the future of British farming, and help attract young people into the industry.
“A third of those surveyed assume they need a family connection to break into the sector, which isn’t the case. We hope our apprenticeship programme will help show that there are a number of alternative routes into farming, and we’d encourage school leavers and young professionals to consider it. It’s one of the most dynamic industries in the UK to work in.”
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John Deere has appointed ProVQ as its new partner to deliver the company’s award winning apprentice training programmes.
ProVQ was established in 2005 to apply this training expertise to apprentice programmes and today it trains over 600 apprentices and hundreds of adult learners on technical, parts and customer service programmes for key players in the automotive industry.
For the new training year starting this autumn, first year apprentices will be based from November at a new Apprentice Training Centre located at Radcliffe-on-Trent, 15 minutes away from John Deere Limited’s headquarters at Langar, Nottingham. The second and third year apprentice programmes will also transfer to the new location.
“I believe this new partnership with ProVQ will enable our apprenticeship training to maintain its position as the benchmark programme for the agricultural and turf industries,” says John Deere Limited training centre manager Richard Halsall. “The arrangements we have put in place to ensure continuity of training provision should make the transfer as seamless as possible.”
A new registration page is now live on the ProVQ Apprenticeship finder website, at http://apprenticeshipfinder.co.uk/john-deere.
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According to local reports, Spalding-based plant breeder and seed company Elsoms is looking for two horticultural trial apprentice assistants to join its workforce.
Robin Wood, managing director of Elsoms Seeds, told the Spalding Guardian, “A culture of investment, passion, expertise and integrity has ensured the company continues to adapt and fulfill the changing demand of its customers, suppliers and partners. Investment in staff is key to our success.
“We believe investing in this apprentice scheme allows the opportunity to train new staff with a strong interest in the horticultural industry in various disciplines that could both benefit Elsoms and the appointed personnel in the future.”
Sue Kennedy, head of breeding at Elsoms Seeds, added, “Many of the staff skills we have at Elsoms in plant breeding, seed production and trials are extremely specialised. We are keen to ensure we maintain this expertise within our team while at the same time passing the knowledge on to a new generation.”
Elsoms is working with the University of Lincoln, Holbeach Academy to find the right candidates.
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