Agricultural development scheme seeks applicants

Ambitious individuals within the agricultural sector looking to take their careers to the next stage are being sought. 

The 2016/17 Professional Manager Development Scheme (PMDS16) will bring together selected managers who want to boost their career through professional development, as well as saving their businesses money, for 10 sessions from April 2016 to June 2017.

Each meeting will consist of an evening discussion with visiting speakers, followed by a day of management training.

The programme, developed by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and delivered by Cedar Associates, is aimed at managers from all agricultural and horticultural sectors wanting to become more effective and efficient in their positions. In addition, they must be able to make decisions to improve their businesses.

“This scheme has been designed to challenge and develop the skills base of managers to meet the needs of the industry,” said Tess Howe, AHDB skills development manager.

“The impact of bringing people together from across the sectors to discuss common issues has been amazing. The last group achieved savings of more than £250,000 by improving management skills, which shows just how beneficial this kind of training can be.”

The completion of the programme will result in an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Certificate in First Line Management (Level 3).

“The scheme is also all about improving understanding and promoting communication within and across sectors, while raising the level of professionalism in the industry – all strong themes in the new AHDB Skills Strategy,” added Howe.

Jeremy Durrant, from E W Davies farms, said that he had noticed the difference in his business since taking part in the course. “With improved communication and time management we have significantly reduced the amount of overtime worked in comparison to previous years and saved tens of thousands of pounds.”

AHDB levy payers are eligible for a discount to attend the course, costing them £850 plus VAT, including registration, tutor and hotel fees. Non levy payers are subject to a charge of £3,750 to attend the course, should they be successful.

Participants need to have the full support of their employer and need to demonstrate to an interviewing panel that they are in a position to change management responsibilities.

The closing date for applicants is Monday 15 February, with interviews being held in Peterborough on Tuesday 1 March.

For more information, contact Tess Howe on 077793210787 or email 

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