Apprenticeship: Agriculture Apprenticeship
Employer: H.R. Edwards & Son
Nick began as a full time agriculture student, completing the Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture. Towards the end of this qualification, he approached Andrew Edwards, of H.R. Edwards & Son with a view to starting the Agriculture Apprenticeship with him. Fast-tracking through the apprenticeship, Nick was able to complete his level 2 qualification in just over 12 months, developing the skills and knowledge necessary to work on the farm, including additional qualifications in machinery operation and pesticide application.
“I wanted to start an apprenticeship as it would enable me to earn and learn at the same time, Andrew gave me that opportunity and it was everything I wanted and more. I didn’t have to spend my time in a classroom; in my case the tutor from the college came to me. He ensured that what I was learning was not only in line with the qualification, but also made sense for the job I was doing. This was important for me, as it meant I was learning useful skills for now and the future, also rather than having to write essays on random subjects, I was able to evidence my ability through the work I was already doing.”
Farm owner Andrew Edwards commented, “Except for the previous 2 years I had always managed the poultry farm on my own, but when the opportunity came along to have an extra pair of hands in the form of an apprentice, it was the best thing I could have done. It’s not your stereotypical farm role here, and it is important to have the right attitude and work ethic for the job. That is difficult to find in someone ready-made for the role, which is where the apprenticeship works, as you can train someone with the right attitude, and that’s where Nick fitted in perfectly.
Nick started with the basic duties, but over time he has been given more responsibilities and he is integral to the running of the farm now, which features 11 sheds. The job is very important and the welfare of the animals is the most important thing, even if that involves having to get up at 3am to fix a sudden problem. As assistant manager, he now has a house on-site, which makes those early starts easier and is about to start his level 3 qualification with Poultec.”