The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) has unveiled key findings of our route review of technical education for agriculture, environmental and animal care.

The summary report highlights the need to keep pace with technological advances, while also helping to keep traditional skills alive.

It recommends updates to 11 apprenticeships which our employer-led trailblazer groups will now implement.

They will work alongside the Institute’s new Green Apprenticeships Advisory Panel to see how all our employer-led technical education products can support sustainability targets and the wider national green-led recovery.

The report also reflects on additional priorities for technical education serving this occupational route.

It recognises that agriculture, environmental and animal care apprenticeships are currently heavily focused on entry level. The Institute wants to see more opportunities for progression, across apprenticeships and wider technical education, right up to degree level.

A number of traditional heritage skills are also identified as being at risk; for example, dry-stone walling, sheep shearing, thatching, and coppicing. The Institute will work with employers to develop a fuller list of at-risk skills and look at opportunities to include these in future training programmes.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive at the Institute, said:

“This route review has been a fantastic opportunity for us to gather feedback and better understand this vital sector’s training needs. I would like to thank everybody who has provided feedback over an incredibly challenging few months due to COVID-19.
“It has focused minds on the need to keep pace with technology and environmental developments, while also supporting and maintaining traditional skills for generations to come.”

Jude Capper, chair of the route panel for agriculture, environmental and animal care, and vice-chair of the GAAP, said:

“A huge amount of work has been put into improving, streamlining and future-proofing training for agriculture, environmental and animal care and I would like to thank everyone for their feedback and support. Sustainability has been one of the major issues that we’ve had to address in terms of embedding specific knowledge, skills, and behaviours into individual apprenticeships; pruning those that are less relevant now than in the past, and sowing seeds for new technical education to serve future needs. That will sit alongside our work to ensure that we are in the best possible position to support the green-led recovery, while also maintaining traditional skills for the future.”

The Institute recognises that COVID-19 continues to impact heavily on employers and has considered the most appropriate time to reveal the findings of this review.

We decided to go ahead with publishing this summary report so trailblazers can start acting on the recommendations. We expect to publish a full report later this year that will further reflect on the impact of COVID-19 and longer-term sector changes.