New apprenticeship scheme helps get more people into Farming

A new apprenticeship scheme is aiming to get more people into a career in agriculture thanks to a partnership between The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) commercial arm HOPS Labour Solutions, FE Colleges and farmers.

HOPS, a leading provider of temporary labour solutions, recruitment and educational services to land based and food industries, wants to become the first port of call for anyone interested in entering the agri-business.

The team, based in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, act as a matching service for new entrants by finding them a suitable course and arranging a placement for them on a local farm. It is hoped the scheme will help to close the age gap between established farm workers and new entrants.

HOPS has access to a wide network of young people through its unique association with Young Farmers’ Clubs and will create placements through its long standing relationships with UK farms.

It has partnered with Askham Bryan College in York to run a pilot apprenticeship scheme in the North of England and Plumpton College in the South. It is anticipated these will soon be rolled out nationally with delivery at local FE colleges that support an appropriate scheme.

Apprenticeships will be offered across a broad spectrum of potential career paths in the rural business sector.

HOPS operations director Glyn Smith said: “HOPS is in the unique position of having direct contact with a large number of young people through our relationship with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs. After operating the SAWS scheme for the Home Office we are experienced at delivering a fantastic service for young people in the rural community.

“The benefit of the scheme is that its open to all, not just young farmers, anyone wishing to enter into the agri-business sector is welcome. With a widening age gap between established farm workers and new entrants, we are delighted to be in a position to help rejuvenate the sector.”

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