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Plumpton College to launch a new Organic Crop Production Apprenticeship in the spring of 2023

There is growing awareness of the environmental health and social benefits of locally grown fresh food, which has led to an increase in the number of new market gardens and community supported agriculture schemes. The growth in this sector is essential to strengthen the UK’s food resilience. 

Demand for UK growers and skilled workers is rising, with fewer foreign workers available and more people looking to find more rewarding careers working on the land, enjoying the benefits of the great outdoors.

Training is essential to ensure that new entrants have the skills and knowledge to become successful growers. Apprenticeships offer a practical and effective way to train staff and learn a new profession. Learning on the job while earning a salary is an empowering experience. Learning from both the professionals at their place of work, tutors at the college and their fellow apprentices will provide quality training with rich and diverse input.

From an employer’s point of view, there are government incentives for employing an apprentice. However, the important incentive is knowing that the knowledge and skills developed during the apprenticeship will result in the organisation contributing to the growth of locally produced organic fruit and vegetables, meeting the objective of helping to strengthen the UK’s food resilience.

The Organic Crop Production apprenticeship follows the process of growing crops from planning to post-harvest, teaching the knowledge, skills and behaviours that a grower needs, including plant and soil science, health and safety, record keeping, cultivation, crop establishment, harvest, storage and more. The aim is to ensure apprentices will become valuable skilled employees or have the skills to start their own gardens.

The apprenticeship will take a year and a half to complete, and the college blocks will be taught in blocks of 3 or 4 days monthly. These blocks will take place outside the busiest time of the growing season between September- May.

To find out more about becoming an organic crop production apprentice, contact Nir Halfon: nir.halfon@plumpton.ac.uk

Any employer interested in taking on an organic crop production apprentice contact the Business Services department at the college: business@plumpton.ac.uk.

Further information about the content and skills for this apprenticeship visit:

https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/crop-technician-v1-0

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