Future Growers Scheme: apprenticeships and traineeships
The Organic Apprenticeship Scheme is initiated by the Soil Association and runs since 2007 in different farms across UK. The motivation behind it is to pass on the skills of current organic growers to the next generation of organic growers. It is focused on fruit and vegetable production and aims to render the apprentices competent for planning an organic enterprise and operate its production effectively. The apprenticeship meets its aim through a variety of teaching and learning methods: farm-based work (each apprentice is coupled with an existing farm), farm walks and visits, mentoring, seminars, modules and hand outs, further reading, events, exchange of knowledge and experience through communication with the members involved and completion of a project. Since 2013 the Scheme introduced a six month traineeship and was renamed Future Growers Scheme. A trainee can continue his training with an apprenticeship, which lasts two years, immediately after the end of the traineeship if the host farm agrees. In the opposite case the trainee must wait till another approved host has a placement available. You can find more info about the traineeship and apprenticeship scheme and about the difference between them by reading the Scheme’s e-handbook here or by visiting the Future Growers’ website here. On the facebook link here you can find posts about available apprenticeship placements and many more. The following video presents the testimonial of an apprentice.