Page 37 - Farm labour in the UK
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capability while others asked for some previous experience in land work.
Recruiting new entrants from the pool of career changers is being achieved in a variety of ways. These include the use of mailing list registration, word of mouth, newsletters, online campaigns, and social media. According to one respondent, the most important way to recruit new entrants is to simply make the work more attractive.
The barriers identified to attracting new entrants into a career in farming, according to respondents, include a lack of promotion of the industry, limited exposure to farming and related career information, and the lack of any obvious pathways into farming for people who are not from a farming background. It is recognised that there exists a difficulty in transitioning from urban to rural locations, for example, particularly without assistance or facilitation.
“I think it wouldn’t be so much that they had the ability to do it, it would be more supporting that kind of journey into the countryside to actually move out, move out of a large town and go and live remotely somewhere, that is quite daunting” (City farm 1)
There is believed to be a significant disconnect between people and farming which further exacerbates the problem of encouraging people to consider it as a potential career.
“I’d hear an adult stood with their child sort of saying, oh look at the, and they didn’t know if it was a donkey or a cow, and it was a donkey” (City farm 1)
Such comments are reported to have come from people of all backgrounds.
Organising schemes to encourage young people and career changers into the farming workforce is a challenge initially, for many of the reasons listed in section 2.3. Further issues reported by individuals directly working in this field include:
➢ Difficulty finding farms willing to host a work placement.
“We can go out and promote them, but, unless industry steps up to the mark and offers these opportunities then they won’t be there” (Labour expert 3)
➢ Funding
“Because we didn’t accredit the course we didn’t get any support funding. We got grants from various trusts over the years to help run it but effectively the bulk of the cost had to be passed on to the trainees, so it did end up being quite expensive, and that was a challenge for some people” (Career changers 1)
➢ The main reasons given by some participants for being motivated to change to a career in horticulture demonstrated a lack of awareness as to what the job actually entails.
“A lot of [the recruits] were quite politically motivated. They cared about the food system and they cared about organic production and they were coming at it from an ethical as well as a personal choice. But again, that doesn’t always mean that the job suits you” (Career changers 1)
Farm labour in the UK | Accessing the workforce the industry needs

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