Skip to main content

Agriculture: Vocational Guidance

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government has taken to encourage young people into agricultural careers. (256932)

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: Fresh Start, an industry-led initiative supported by Government, helps train new entrants to the farming industry. There are 24 Fresh Start Academies, with more in the pipeline, focusing on developing business skills for new farmers.

We are working with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs to provide training opportunities that enable members to learn an array of new skills to become successful farmers.

Government supported the Year of Food and Farming in 2007-08 and are supporting the legacy campaign, Think Food and Farming. These schemes have helped children and young people learn about growing food, what happens on a farm, what life is like in the countryside and what the countryside can offer in terms of employment. Through agri-environmental schemes farmers receive approximately £1 million per year to provide educational visits to their farms from schools and other interest groups.

From this September the new Diploma in Environmental and Land-based studies will be available to 14 to 19-year-olds to help them develop an understanding of these industries.