Press release

Record number of apprentices enter food and farming

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Record numbers of young people are looking to forge a career in the UK’s flourishing food and farming sector, with more than 36,000 applications for apprenticeships this year – a nine fold increase since 2010.

Last year the government helped more than 7,000 young people to embark on agricultural related apprenticeships within this sector – an increase of nearly 25% since 2010 – with a further 3,700 apprentices joining food manufacturing firms.

These latest figures show more and more young people are interested in careers in this hi-tech and vibrant industry, which already employs 1 in 8 people. The sector contributes £103 billion to the economy and is a key element of our long-term economic plan.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in food and farming and record numbers of young people are looking to this hi-tech industry as a great career choice. From engineers to scientists, marketers or economists – the range of careers available in these sectors is vast.

That is why we are working with industry to increase the number of apprenticeships in these areas, to give talented young people access to cutting edge technology that will help the UK lead the world in food and farming.

The government is partnering up with industry to open up more apprenticeships in the sector, as farming alone will need tens of thousands of new people this decade.

The industry is working across the supply chain to improve skills, setting new standards for apprenticeships.

Sheffield Hallam University, in partnership with the industry, is offering the country’s first food engineering degree, while Harper Adams recently announced five new food degree courses.