Page 43 - Farm labour in the UK
P. 43

Farm labour in the UK | Accessing the workforce the industry needs
 Another example of success!
A young woman who had been an officer in the Royal Navy was interested in farming but did not know how to enter the industry as a worker. She attended an initiative training week.
“She actually volunteered and she was milking every morning and she fell in love with working with cows on that course.”
Afterwards she temporarily found work in another industry, during which she attended another land-based training day.
“Through the various insights, literally, that she got there she realised that what she really wanted to do [was farm] and she could pursue that career. Somebody got in touch with me to find a dairy manager for their farm. I thought of [this young woman] but there was absolutely no way she was qualified to go and do that job.”
However, with the help of the initiative operator, the farmer agreed to let her spend a week working on the farm.
“By day four the farmer was so impressed with her understanding of how to manage staff, her ability to learn the books, her project management and her organisation, all the skills we talk about that armed forces people have, that he employed her.”
And the rest is history!
“She is now known as the General Manager of that farm which is extraordinary. The farmer has since come back to me and asked me to help him find other staff. So it is absolutely the case study of what, I think, we can achieve with the military community and farming and the wider land-based sector but it needs management. If she had applied for that job [on her own] she wouldn’t have got anywhere near it.”
“There is this blind spot. Farming until the last few years has been such a closed business and because it is small businesses that have, you know, generation upon generation, they haven’t gone outside the local community to look for staff” (Service Leavers 3)
Apart from the obstacle presented by lack of representation by the key resettlement programme, the CTP, other barriers to recruitment reported by respondents include the lack of exposure to, and knowledge of, opportunities in agriculture.
Further potential barriers mirror those mentioned in section 2.3, such as lack of attractiveness of the career based on pay, conditions, and the potential
culture disparities that might arise on-site (e.g. working alongside migrant workers speaking a different language). But over and above these, the recruitment process of the farm businesses themselves can also act as a constraint.
“I uncovered several barriers to the military “going into this career” which is effectively stopping them. Financial, systematic, but mostly a lack of information and a lack of informal mentors to follow into the sector. They are fascinated. They didn’t know it was an option and once you show them what is possible, they are very interested, and we’ve placed people as a direct result of them attending” (Service leavers 3)
Deloitte (2018) also discovered other barriers which might potentially affect recruitment drives matching service leavers to agricultural positions. These include

   41   42   43   44   45