10 reasons to consider an agriculture apprenticeship at Hartpury College


It’s National Apprenticeship Week so the perfect time to learn more about the agriculture apprenticeships provided by Hartpury College. For those unsure about whether to progress to employment or education, they can be a great choice and are often regarded as a valuable first step into an agricultural career.

Here are 10 reasons to consider an agriculture apprenticeship at Hartpury College.

  1. Hartpury is the home of agriculture

Agriculture is at the heart of Hartpury.  We have an award-winning farm business that allows students access to 380 hectares across five sites, including our commercial Home Farm on the Hartpury campus itself. Our dairy farm includes a modern dairy parlour that supplies big brands including Müller. Elsewhere, a £2m Agri-Tech Centre and £2m Tech Box Park creates a hub for agriculture research and business, part of our 10-year vision to become a Digital Innovation Farm.

Our lecturers are passionate about farming too, so you’ll be in great hands when it comes to learning about all areas of agriculture.

  1. We have two agriculture apprenticeships to choose from

Two different apprenticeships are offered by Hartpury so you can choose the one that’s right for you. If you’re currently in employment, these could be a great option to develop your theoretical knowledge in an applied setting and stand out to future employers.

The Level 2 General Farmworker Apprenticeship is a GCSE-equivalent qualification. You can specialise in crop or livestock production, supporting daily operations within the farm enterprise and helping to maintain animal and plant health. You’ll assist in key operational and administrative tasks including record keeping.

The Level 3 Crop Technician Apprenticeship is an A-level-equivalent qualification that will allow you to develop your skills across two years. You’ll help to prepare and cultivate sites for planting crops, harvest and store crops and learn how to maintain farm equipment and machinery. You’ll come away with a greater understanding of sustainable crop production, as well as important transferable skills including communication and management skills.

  1. Earn while you learn

With an agriculture apprenticeship, you’ll earn a wage while you learn. Don’t forget, your lessons at Hartpury as part of your apprenticeship won’t cost you a thing. For many apprentices, their apprenticeship leads to full-time employment with their employer and promotes progression opportunities further down the line.

The cost-of-living is having an impact on many people right now. Find out more about the variety of financial support available to students including bursaries (applications open from 1 April). You can also read more about how we’re helping students with the cost-of-living.

  1. Gain real work experience

Apprentices get plenty of work experience, working with colleagues and customers and solving problems in a real-world agriculture environment. This can really help you not only apply practical knowledge to your studies, but also prepare you for your future career.

Hartpury College has forged some great links with many industry partners and businesses, so you’ll be well placed when it comes to looking for a future role or progressing after your apprenticeship is complete.

  1. Boost your employability

The unique advantage of an apprenticeship is that you’ll be able to gain both practical work experience as well as agriculture-specific knowledge through your academic studies. The skills and knowledge you learn is highly likely to give you an edge over the competition when you apply for a future job. Indeed, 96% of our agriculture students progress onto employment, university, or further study (Hartpury College 2022).

  1. You’ll get the best of both worlds

Worried about missing out on that college experience? Don’t worry. You’ll still attend Hartpury College on a day-release basis for one day per week during term time. This will allow you to make great new friends and experience all that Hartpury has to offer. We’ve invested in our campus to make it a great place to relax, socialise and study.

  1. Build professional relationships

An apprenticeship can give you a head start when it comes to making contacts in the agriculture industry, potentially paying dividends later when you’re either seeking out, or in, full-time employment.

  1. You’ll add useful skills to your CV

The great thing about working alongside your studies means you’ll be able to add a number of all-important skills to your CV. These could include reliability, time management, and flexibility, as well as practical skills such as operating machinery, cultivating crops, and teamwork.

Our careers team will be able to help you with future planning and career development, too. Whether you need help tidying up your CV or improving your interview technique, our Innovation, Careers and Enterprise (ICE) team are here for you.

  1. You’ll earn other qualifications along the way

Alongside developing your agricultural skills, you’ll need to successfully complete the following qualifications and activities to achieve your apprenticeship award:

  • Level 1 English and Maths
  • Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Safe Use of Pesticides PA1&6
  • Completion of practical evidence portfolio
  1. You can progress to employment or further study

Upon completion of your apprenticeship, you’ll have several options. You could begin working full time, perhaps in the workplace you join as part of your apprenticeship. Alternatively, you may prefer to move to pastures new. As a farm worker, you could move on to become a supervisor, dairy or arable unit manager, or assistant manager on a large farm.

If you decide to go onto further study, Hartpury offers a number of college and university agriculture diplomas and degrees in a variety of areas, including BSc Agriculture and specialist degrees in crop production and livestock production.

Whatever you decide to do, your apprenticeship will have given you a great starting point for a future career in many areas of agriculture.

Learn more or apply today

Please email or phone 01452 702244 for more information about the apprenticeship application process

You are welcome to apply at any time for an apprenticeship.  Programmes can commence at various start points through the year.  Please call for more information.