To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, Lantra has launched a new Employer Toolkit to encourage small farm businesses to take on apprentices, helping to bring new entrants into an industry that is challenged by labour shortages.
Farming is dominated by small and micro businesses who often need help with hiring apprentices and navigating the apprenticeship system. Recognising this, the toolkit aims to simplify access to information and support, and to share best practice.
Lantra research shows that although farmers do see the benefits of employing apprentices, they often struggle to find practical information about this employment and training route.
Marcus Potter, Chief Executive at Lantra, said: “We are very excited to be launching this resource, which we hope will both help and encourage small employers to recruit apprentices. We know there are labour shortages on farms, yet only a small number of farm businesses are employing apprentices’’.
“Employing an apprentice for the first time can seem like a challenge. Our new toolkit provides clear advice and step-by-step guidance to make the process easier, as well as the experience of one farm business that has already taken on an apprentice and has seen the benefits".
John Aynsley runs a mixed farm of 1,416 hectares on the edge of the North York Moors, he has employed an apprentice from a non-farming background. John said: “An apprentice is more than an extra pair of hands. They bring a youthful energy, and eagerness to learn about everyday practical farming.’’’
‘’Lantra’s simple ‘how-to’ guide, provides practical guidance on what an apprenticeship is, what is involved and breaks down the steps to take. I think it will be well-received by the farming community. Farmers can make apprenticeships work for them, whilst easing the workload at very little extra cost.”
The apprenticeship system differs across the devolved nations. The new Employer Toolkit applies to the system in England. It is available at to download here and hard copies can be requested via firstname.lastname@example.org or 02476 696996.
An Employer's Toolkit, developed by Lantra Scotland on behalf of the Skills for Farming Group, with support from Skills Development Scotland is also available here.