Award organisers support industry campaign to encourage 'young blood'


25 April 2023
Existing achievement by young people in potato industry can aid multi-organisation drive to bring more young people into growing.

AS A NEW initiative launched this week encouraging growing businesses to increase work experience opportunities, organisers of The National Potato Industry Award urged those in the industry to highlight the achievements of a stand-out young person within the industry.

The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH); AHDB; the Chartered Institute of Horticulture; Lantra; LEAF; the National Farmers Union; and the Tenant Farmers Association have identified that a lack of quality work experience opportunities is one of the barriers young people face when considering a career in our industry, especially when they are not from a farming or growing background.

The organisations are now working together to address this, and have launched a social media campaign aiming to raise growers’ awareness of providing work experience. Feedback will also be sought to identify common barriers to offering work experience and develop materials to support growers.

The initiave is co-ordinated by TIAH, and supported through the cross industry working group.

TIAH Board member and Chair of the careers working group Richard Longthorp said: “The agriculture and horticulture industry needs to attract new talent. Research shows that we must make closer connections with people from outside the industry by providing first-hand experience of the range of opportunities available. There are already great initiatives promoting careers but there is not only a gap when it comes to giving people the chance to really understand what these jobs involve, there is also more opportunity for the different organisations to work together.

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“There are very valid reasons why farmers and growers may be hesitant to offer work experience – they might be short of time or staff to support someone, concerned about health and safety or simply worry about having someone inexperienced on farm. But offering work experience provides farmers and growers an ideal opportunity to showcase our individual businesses and our industry and is likely to provide a more sustainable and resilient alternative to more traditional methods of recruitment. Working together as an industry we have a greater chance of breaking down barriers and supporting businesses to provide a quality experience for potential recruits.”

Organisations and businesses which would like to support any aspect of the careers action plan, including the work experience initiative, are invited to contact TIAH Careers Manager Ruth Peterson at ruth [email protected].

Potato Review and its publishing group, Warners Publications Ltd, recently announced the new categories for the National Potato Industry Awards, which it organises on alternate years to take place alongside the British Potato Show. The 2023 event, which takes place in Harrogate, will feature 10 categories, including 'Best Young Achiever' category,.

This award seeks to recognise the best and brightest young people already working within the potato industry, as those leaving college and university who have already demonstrated that they have made, or can make, a significant contribution to their chosen career within potato supply. It is open to those aged 16 to 30.

Who do you recommend for Best Young Achiever 2023?

Check out previous winners at the 2021 awards here

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