Supermarket aids livestock farming industry

Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is encouraging young people to take part in its farming apprenticeship scheme. The next intake will see the trainees working alongside the livestock and poultry sector. 

The programme is an attempt to alter young people’s perception of farming and to promote it as an industry worthy of recognition.

Research carried out by YouGov revealed that 80% of 16- to 24-year-olds have out-of-date and preconceived ideas of what the industry actually involves. However, a promising 39% of those who responded to the survey claimed that they would like more information about careers in the industry.

“Food and farming is vital to Britain’s future, already contributing to £100 billion a year to the economy,” said environment secretary Elizabeth Truss. “The people who give this industry its extraordinary energy are some of the most innovative in the world and we want more young people to see food and farming as an attractive career.”

Sainsbury’s apprentice scheme, which opened for applicants on Friday (4 September) and is run in partnership with Staffline, gives people aged from 16 the opportunity to work alongside some of the sector’s leading food suppliers.

As part of the programme, enrolled apprentices will visit other growers within Sainsbury’s supply chain every 12 weeks. In between visits, the students will learn the practical aspects of the trade.

Robert Honeysett, Sainsbury’s horticultural manager, said: “Our research reveals there’s a significant gap between what young people think of farming, and some of the jobs that are available today. We’re passionate in playing our part to support the future of British farming, and help attract young people into the industry.”

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