Beef­ing up on a ca­reer in agri­cul­ture

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - JOBS IN SCOTLAND/CLASSIFIED -

Alarge pro­por­tion of young peo­ple in Bri­tain are in­ter­ested in work­ing in the food and farm­ing in­dus­try, but job se­cu­rity and work/life bal­ance are key re­quire­ments to achieve a happy ca­reer.

These are the head­line find­ings of an in­dus­try-backed Farm­ers Guardian sur­vey of 16-to-35-year-olds across the UK, which sheds light on what young peo­ple re­ally want from their ca­reers and what could at­tract new tal­ent into the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.

Of al­most 1,800 re­spon­dents, 59% said they were in­ter­ested in a ca­reer in the agro-in­dus­tries. How­ever, the sur­vey high­lighted a lack of un­der­stand­ing around the op­por­tu­ni­ties the sec­tor can of­fer, with only 5% of re­spon­dents recog­nis­ing there were engi­neer­ing or sci­ence-re­lated ca­reers avail­able within the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try and only 7% mak­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween agri­cul­ture and en­vi­ron­men­tal ca­reers.

Farm­ers Guardian has joined forces with 19 in­dus­try stake­hold­ers to launch a new cam­paign, #ThisIsA­gri­cul­ture, to pro­mote ca­reers in the sec­tor.

Build­ing on the in­for­ma­tion from the #ThisIsA­gri­cul­ture sur­vey, this ini­tia­tive will work to ed­u­cate those who have pre­vi­ously not con­sid­ered the sec­tor about the wealth of op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able within agri­cul­ture, as well as dis­pelling com­mon myths syn­ony­mous with ca­reers in agri­cul­ture.

The cam­paign is col­lab­o­rat­ing with in­dus­try bod­ies and our in­dus­try part­ners to iden­tify ways of sup­port­ing ex­ist­ing ini­tia­tives to help shape the po­lit­i­cal agenda, drive ed­u­ca­tional re­form and pro­vide learn­ing re­sources to raise aware­ness of an ex­cit­ing and dy­namic in­dus­try.

Caro­line Drum­mond, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Link­ing En­vi­ron­ment and Farm­ing (LEAF), said: “There is a stigma with agri­cul­ture which does not re­flect what the food, farm­ing and ru­ral in­dus­tries de­liver.

“The breadth of ex­cit­ing skills agri­cul­ture of­fers is enor­mous, but the rhetoric stems around ‘ev­ery­one wants to be a farmer’, which con­fuses things. Farm­ing is one slice of the cake of what agri­cul­ture of­fers in the ca­reer spec­trum.”

The sur­vey clearly high­lights if the in­dus­try is to at­tract the bright­est minds to work in the sec­tor there is a large pub­lic re­la­tions ex­er­cise to be done.

At­tract­ing the best

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, the re­search showed the need for the in­dus­try to un­der­stand the chang­ing re­quire­ments of to­day’s work­force, as re­spon­dents ex­pressed the im­por­tance of flex­i­ble skills de­vel­op­ment.

Asked about the cri­te­ria on which they based their job se­lec­tion, 98% said they rated job se­cu­rity and a fun or pleas­ant work­ing en­vi­ron­ment es­sen­tial, very or quite im­por­tant. Achiev­ing a good work/ life bal­ance came out at 94%.

All three cri­te­ria ranked well ahead of “high in­come”, which sur­pris­ingly came sev­enth on the list, be­hind op­por­tu­nity, help­ing oth­ers and lo­ca­tion.

Drilling down fur­ther into salary ex­pec­ta­tions, just more than half (54%) said they ex­pected to earn £20,000£25,000 or less by the age of 26. They also in­di­cated they wanted to see jobs in agri­cul­ture of­fer ca­reer de­vel­op­ment. The op­por­tu­nity for ca­reer pro­gres­sion was cited as ei­ther an es­sen­tial re­quire­ment or very im­por­tant by 70% of re­spon­dents to the sur­vey.

#ThisisA­gri­cul­ture cam­paign fol­lows an on­line sur­vey which ran on www. fgin­sight.com over the sum­mer. More than 1,600 re­spon­dents from across the UK com­pleted the ques­tion­naire. work­ing hours and

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