Careers and lifelong learning

  1. Chris F
    Created by Chris F in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Dec 21, 2017

    The Rich Wigram New Zealand Farming Scholarship (RWNZFS) was set up in 2012 to enable young people over 18yrs to experience dairy farming in New Zealand through a one year work placement. Our aim is to send out 2 candidates per year in June or early July.

    The purpose of the charity as stated in the constitution is ’to further the education, knowledge and experience of farming students through a travel scholarship and work placement in the dairy industry in New Zealand, with a particular focus on industry best practice and environmental management.’

    The scholarship has been set up in memory of Rich Wigram who tragically died in 2010 as the result of an accident on his farm in NZ at the age of 34. This charity is administered by his family and friends in both the UK and NZ.


    The Scholarship
    • Return ticket to NZ
    • Help and advice in finding work on a suitable dairy farm in New Zealand.
    • About 10 months work, allowing around 2 months for travel or other work at the end of the year.
    • A mentor in NZ to help you learn and develop and in case of any work related problems.
    • In return we would like you to write a report at the end of year and to come and speak to potential candidates, so you can help us to further promote this opportunity.
    • You will need to...
  2. Chris F
    Created by Chris F in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Aug 12, 2016
    Tesco Future Farmer Foundation is open for candidates to apply to join the next programme.

    The Future Farmer Foundation was established in 2014, to help talented, enthusiastic and determined young people make a confident start in agriculture.

    Who do you know that fits this bill?

    Whether they are looking to take over the management of the family farm, embark on a new venture or enter the industry for the first time.

    It is open to anyone:

    - Aged 20-35 years old on the 1st October
    - From any sector of agriculture, including aquaculture
    - Based in the UK & Ireland
    - Not in full time education

    It is open right across the farming industry. There is no cost to participants and a contribution is made towards the travel expenses of those travelling long distances to participate. So its a great opportunity for young farmers to learn.

    Future Farmer Foundation focuses on business management skills, personal development, and understanding of the supply chain.

    Participants have the opportunity to gain new skills, be part of a strong group of like minded progressive young farmers, build a network of contacts from across the industry, gain experience in new areas of the supply chain across many sectors.

    The programme includes:

    - A series of two-day workshops, each repeated at alternate locations across the country, focused on business skills and personal development
    - Numerous ‘supply chain events’ held with leading food and farming businesses...
  3. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Apr 12, 2016
    Press release

    New food and farming degree apprenticeships to boost innovation

    Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP
    First published:
    12 April 2016
    Environment Secretary brings together food sector experts and employers to create apprenticeships, boosting innovation in the food industry

    The next generation of food entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to combine a high quality degree and on-the-job training under plans for new food degree apprenticeships, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced today.

    The three apprenticeships – spearheaded by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD) – are being developed by a consortium of employers and industry representatives working to enhance the sector’s productivity. The creation of the degrees will help safeguard the UK’s position as a world leader in high-tech food innovation which has seen us give the world tinned food, fizzy water and the chocolate bar. Today the UK produces more new food and drink products each year than France and Germany combined.

    Last year the Government announced a target to treble the number of...
  4. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Sep 29, 2015
    A visit to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s careers event three years ago proved life changing for a North Yorkshire student – and he is returning to next month’s event to inspire others.

    As a 15 year old, Jimmy Fawcett attended “Careers in Focus” at the Great Yorkshire Showground and to his surprise, found himself on the rostrum taking part in a mock livestock auction. The experience was pivotal as he has since gone on to become an auctioneer and now, aged 18, he will return to the event to talk about his career path.

    2015 Careers in Focus takes place on Tuesday 6 October and will highlight the wide range of options open to young people including those in the rural sector.

    The event is a one stop shop for students to speak to experts and learn more about a host of employment and training opportunities from the 80 or so stands and displays. Jimmy is one of a number of speakers who will share their experiences with the 1,500 secondary students who are attending.

    He explained: “I was in Year 11 at school and went along to Careers in Focus with my mother. Auctioneer Scott Donaldson was holding a mock cattle auction, he knows my family and suddenly he called me up to have a go. I realized it was something I could perhaps do and that was the start of everything.” Jimmy, whose family farm near York, has been the Junior Auctioneer at Leyburn Auction Mart since July 2014.

    Organiser, Liz Hudson said:...
  5. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Apr 10, 2015
    New member and enthusiastic young farmer @JamesRhys90 has kindly agreed to send in some of his blogs to The farming Forum on an adhoc basis as he embarks on his first steps on the farming ladder

    I'm sure the good members of TFF will join me in welcoming James along and encouraging him along the way


    Lambing 2015

    This morning our final ewe gave birth to triplets and brought lambing 2015 (my very first) to an end.

    Having only moved up to Scotland in October and bought the ewes in January, I wasn't really prepared for lambing, but I think that on the whole it's gone really well. On the whole, the mules made things really easy for us, and we would often get up in the morning to find they had lambed over night and the little ones would be clean, up and suckling. We did have to get involved with a few but there was only one really problematic delivery.

    I think the biggest shock for me was just how exhausting lambing has been. Even though I've only had 16 to lamb, I feel like I've barely stopped over the past few weeks. Whether it's checking on the ewes, bedding up and mucking out, checking feed and water or feeding the pet lambs, there's always something to do. Even when you do have 5 minutes for a sit down, a cup of tea or to grab some food, your brain is always on, planning what needs doing, checking you...
  6. JP1
    Created by JP1 in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Mar 16, 2015
    As specialist recruitment consultants in the agricultural industry with many years of experience,

    we’re often asked for advice on matters that affect a job move (see previous blogs on employment

    contracts and company cars); without doubt, an important consideration, when leaving one

    employer and taking up a new post, is your pension provision.

    Deciding what to do with your existing workplace pension when changing jobs is the overall task -

    do you leave it where it is and carry on paying? or do you transfer it to your new employer or your

    own choice of pension provider? - and, as with most elements of a job move, there are several

    things to consider:

    • Firstly, before signing on the dotted line of a new employment contract, ensure that you

    understand the remuneration package on offer - including pension provision. You should consider

    a pension as deferred pay - it therefore forms part of your package; if your new employer does

    not offer a pension scheme*, this should be factored in to your negotiations.

    • Before making your decision, you should also study your current pension provision. It may be

    that you’ve changed jobs previously and have pension pots with different providers - now would

    be a good time to take stock of any/all previous pensions that you’ve paid in to. You’ll need to

    know whether your pensions are:

    - Defined benefit pension schemes (also known as ‘final salary’ pensions schemes) or

    - Defined contribution pension schemes (also...
  7. News
    Created by News in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Feb 13, 2015
    At Merston Peters we’re often asked for advice, by both employers and candidates, on the validity of employment contracts. The simple truth is: it depends. It depends on circumstances, on forward thinking, on legalities and on good old fashioned understanding. In agricultural recruitment, as in any other area of industry, an employment contract should always be written in order to create a level playing field for both parties. This article attempts to wade through what may seem like treacle in order to answer the most common questions.

    Let’s first ask the employers amongst our readers: do you really want to tie your staff in so tightly so that, every time an employee leaves, the rest of your personnel sees them struggling like Houdini in a suitcase!? Once a member of staff has received an attractive offer or believes that the grass is greener elsewhere, it is difficult to convince them otherwise. Our advice is always to let them leave amicably and accommodate their wishes as far as possible, limiting any possible damage in terms of finances or security. A departure is always unnerving for other employees and so, if the transition is smooth, you will gain respect. For employers, we urge you to read on, noting especially our advice on creating contracts with short, legitimate restrictive covenants that help to alleviate any misunderstandings at the beginning, middle and end of a term of employment.

    To clarify what we mean by an employment contract in terms of...
  8. News
    Created by News in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Jan 9, 2015
    It is a common perception that farmers want to buy something for nothing. If the suppliers of inputs decided that this model was acceptable to them then the ongoing challenges to recruit and develop high-calibre people into the supply chain would be solved overnight. However, the bankruptcy of British Farming plc would surely follow.

    As necessity is the mother of invention, then the need for profit drives innovation within the supply chain, which ultimately leads to global competitive advantage for our farming industry. Progress is driven and delivered by people; companies are differentiated by their people. The stark truth is that there is a real shortage of good people and it is only going to get worse.

    There is proof that profit in the supply chain can benefit farming. One of our clients, ProCam, demonstrates that its customers benefit from nearly 1t/ha wheat yield over the national average – this rises to more than 2t/ha for their top 25% of customers. Interestingly, the yield difference is increasing against a stagnating UK average. To prosper as a business they have to deliver tangible value and this ability comes back firmly to the quality of their people.

    The demographic problem can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s when farming was good, agriculture attracted talent and the universities were crammed with bright young things destined for great futures with companies such as Fisons, ICI, Dalgety, BOCM, Pauls Agriculture, UAM, and KW.

    Over the following...
  9. News
    Created by News in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Jan 8, 2015
    As agricultural recruitment specialists we’re often asked, by both employers and candidates alike,about the benefits (or not), of a company car as part of a salary package and so we decided toprovide the answer which is… it’s not quite that simple!

    Historically, company cars have been considered a ‘perk’ for high-achieving employees and a‘must-have’ for anyone in an on-the-road sales role. It’s common knowledge that a company car is considered a benefit in kind by HMRC - especially if it’s used for private, as well as business purposes - both for the employer and the employee. But, we’ve taken a further look at the good, thebad and the downright dastardly from both perspectives - and it doesn’t always just come down to the financial gains/losses:


    So, you’ve visited and spotted your dream job - the job description’s a career move you’d like to make; the location is ideal and the salary is certainly in the attractive bracket butthe employer is offering you the choice of a company car or a car allowance - what should youconsider -and are there alternatives?

    Company car

    • An employer will almost certainly decide upon the type of car offered, or at least some specifications such as an upper price limit; the fuel type; the C02 emission level; the safety aspects - if you have your heart set on a particular car or performance level, this may not be on offer.

    • A company car will almost...
  10. News
    Created by News in category Careers and lifelong learning
    Jun 2, 2014
    It is a slightly worrying trend that some of the larger agrochemical distributors are seeking to protect their key assets, agronomists, by tying them into twelve month contracts and/or additional restrictive covenants. The enforceability of the long term covenants is highly questionable and when challenged in court is commonly rejected as being overly protective of the employer’s interest.

    Surely, given the worth of a successful agronomist to the distributor, the optimum approach would be for the senior management to provide an environment where the individual feels involved, valued and invested in. The long term tie in appears to me to be reflective of a disjointed management culture that has little appreciation for its people but a singular drive to deliver shareholder security.

    The freedom to transfer your employment is a powerful tool that should drive senior management to ensure appreciation, consideration and support of you and your relationship with your farmer customer. There appears to be a correlation between long term contract implementation and a stealthy marginalisation of the agronomist’s relationship with the farmer. Whether it is a drive to sell wider inputs via additional individuals calling on farm or increased investment in either telesales or online ordering, the wish to dilute your relationship is apparent.

    Different employers have specific approaches to the long term tie in and it comes as no surprise that the agronomy businesses that we partner...