Organic crop production apprenticeship at Plumpton College
Date Published: 17th May 2022
With new CSA’s and Market Garden operations starting up all over the country, the next logical step is to introduce training schemes that will provide workers to support them.
Woodplumpton College down in East Sussex has put together an apprentice training scheme.
The growth in this sector is essential to strengthen the UK’s food resilience. Demand for UK growers and workers is also on the rise with fewer foreign workers available and more people looking to find more rewarding careers working on the land.
Training is essential so people can get the skills and knowledge to become successful growers. Apprenticeships are an effective way to train and learn a new profession. Learning from both the professionals at their place of work and from tutors at a college as a part of a group offers good quality of training with a rich and diverse input.
From an employer’s point of view there are some government incentives to employing an apprentice. However, the important incentive is knowing that the knowledge and skills are passed on to a person who can now continue with the growth of the movement of locally produced organic fruit and vegetables.
In the Autumn, Plumpton college is launching a Level 3 Organic Crop Production apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship follows the process of growing crops from planning to post-harvest. It teaches all the knowledge, skills and behaviours that a grower needs including, plant and soil science, H&S, record keeping, cultivation, crop establishment, harvest, storage and more. The aim is that following the apprenticeship, apprentices will become valuable skilled employees or have under their belt the skillset to start their own gardens.
The course will be taught over 2 years in monthly blocks of 3 days (Tuesday- Thursday). College blocks will take place outside the growing season between October and April..