Fenland farm chosen as location for Co-operative Farms’ national apprenticeship scheme

A FENLAND farm has been chosen as one of the locations for a national apprenticeship scheme which aims to find the farmers of the future.

The farm at Coldham is one of six across England and Scotland that have been chosen for the project, which has been launched by The Co-operative Farms.

The scheme, targeted at 17-19-year-olds, offers young farming talent a new way into the industry.

Eight apprenticeships have been established at the participating farms where students will get the chance to complete an agricultural NVQ up to level three.

Christine Tacon, Managing Director of The Co-operative Farms, said: ”The Co-operative Farms has always attracted a very high calibre of employee, so there is an established wealth of knowledge that people working on our farms can pass onto the people who will step into their shoes.

“The mentoring aspect of the scheme is important, as there is more to farming than understanding technology and production. Learning about different soil types, microclimates and how crops have performed historically in particular fields are also vital lessons.

“Talking to people who have farmed a specific area for a long time is often the quickest route to finding the best course of action.”

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The students will learn about key areas of the business: cereal and root crops, vegetable and fruit growing. Each apprentice will also receive teaching that has been drawn up to suit the farm they are working on.

Anyone interested in taking up a place on the scheme should visit www.co-operative.coop/farms/careers for an application form.

Interviews for the scheme will be taking place throughout March and the successful candidates will be expected to start work on their allotted farm from the beginning of April.