Bid to bring newcomers to English potato industry

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05 February 2024
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Employer toolkit to boost the take-up of apprenticeships by small growing businesses.

SMALL potato growing business in England are being encouraged to make use of a new employer toolkit. 

The toolkit has been launched by Lantra, an independent charity that helps the land-based and environment industries to meet their skills needs, in a bid to encourage more small businesses to help bring new entrants to the industry by providing them with help and resources to take on apprentices. It ties in with National Apprenticeship Week this week. 

Lantra points out that the industry that is challenged by labour shortages and there are many 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 interested businesses often struggle to find practical information about this employment and training route.

Chief Executive at Lantra, Marcus Potter, 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.

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“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 toolkit is available by clicking here and hard copies can be requested by emailing here or calling 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.

 In a sector dominated by small and micro businesses, we work in partnership with employers, industry bodies and other educational providers to:
•    Train people to work safely, productively, and sustainably.
•    Understand industry skills and workforce needs through research and insight.
•    Attract, develop, and retain a diverse and competent workforce.
•    Encourage and support a commitment to Lifelong Learning

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