Page 33 - Farm labour in the UK
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While farming has been a traditionally male career, it is now the case that females are more likely to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in agriculture and related subjects. However, agriculture is one of the subjects with the lowest proportions of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students at only 5.8 % (figure 7).
Figure 7. Students by subject of study and ethnicity, 2016-17 (Source: Universities UK 2018).
It is felt that many teachers and careers advisors could play a role in promoting careers in agriculture, especially as many students will seek advice from these groups (RSA 2019).
‘‘Part of the problem is influencing the influencers, in terms of careers advice that somebody might gain at a secondary college level, not necessarily taking agriculture and horticulture into the spectrum of potential careers that people might want to have” (Labour expert 2)
“We’ve got to get labour from somewhere. It is not going to get any easier and the more doors we close, the harder it’s going to be” (Farmer 2)
Numbers of apprenticeships in agriculture, horticulture and animal care have remained consistent over the last ten years at approximately 7,000 per year (House of Commons 2020). This is one of the lowest numbers across all industries. However it is unclear whether this is due to a lack of hosts or lack of demand. 63% of apprentices in agriculture are male with only 1% having a BAME background (Department for Education 2020). 53% of agriculture apprentices applied via a personal connection or recommendation, a more likely scenario than in any other industry. Crucially, apprentices in agriculture were more likely to report improved career prospects, doing better at their job, increased job security, and increased job satisfaction than almost all other subjects6, and 93% of completers of agricultural apprenticeships were in work in the 2018/19 cohort.
“I think what the government needs to do is introduce an element of incentive to allow employers to employ more apprentices and one way of doing that is to increase the actual wage levels” (Farming rep 1)
Apprenticeships are viewed as an effective route for new entrants to the industry.
Other examples of work placements:
Kickstart Scheme: 19000-jobs-created-by-kickstart-scheme-so-far
Entrepreneurs in Dairying:
Trailblazer apprenticeships:
Work experience
“Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland is our key dairy area and there was a shortage of dairy workers. There was a project done with school children where they did a day-a-
Farm labour in the UK | Accessing the workforce the industry needs
    6 Apart from construction and engineering

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