New agriculture training body, TIAH (The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture), is looking to recruit English farmers and growers to test and trial its services before formally launching its online platform next year.
With agriculture and horticulture undergoing huge changes and the need to become environmentally sustainable as well as profitable paramount, TIAH chair, David Fursdon, believes Continued Professional Development (CPD) is key.
“We’re not looking to replace what’s already in existence. Instead, we’re looking to work closely with our partners from across the industry to bring everything together in one central hub. The aim is that we’ll make skills and career development more accessible to all,” said Fursdon.
“Within the poultry sector, everyone seems to be struggling to recruit and retain staff.”
The digital platform will also provide independent records and collate personal achievements: “Where required, this information can be used to demonstrate compliance and will also help to simplify audits and record keep across the industry.”
Fursdon said he wanted to see “TIAH cultivators” to test the system over the summer.
Lindsey Wedgewood, who runs a family-run broiler farm with 210,000 birds on the outskirts of York, welcomed the initiative: “Within the poultry sector, everyone seems to be struggling to recruit and retain staff. There also seems to be a lack of awareness of the opportunities that are available.
“However, the services that TIAH is proposing to provide could make a real difference. I wanted to get involved in the pilot scheme so I could help shape the development of TIAH’s services as I believe they will be key as the industry goes through a magnitude of changes in the future.
“As an industry, we need to make it easier for individuals, both within the industry, as well as school-leavers, to find information about potential careers in agriculture and horticulture.”
When Lindsey is not at the farm, she works at a land-based college, so careers and education are really important to her: “I believe as many farmers as possible need to get involved, as there is a real need to attract talent into the industry, as well as to share the great innovative changes that businesses are making.”
To sign up, click here.