National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 July 2020

Plans for a new professional body that will support a skilled workforce in agriculture and horticulture are underway and NFYFC has contributed to its development.

The aim of the professional body is to be the go-to place for key information that encourages lifelong learning. It would make the best use of information to achieve skills for on farm improvements and demonstrate the career opportunities in the sector.

The concept has been developed by the Agri-Hort Skills Leadership Group (SLG), which was set up in 2018 and has involved NFYFC. The SLG, which is sponsored by Lord Donald Curry, considered how to best inspire and support those currently farming and growing to acquire new skills and also to attract new talent.

It has advanced its work through industry-led groups on professional framework, including continuing professional development and careers and recruitment.

NFYFC is an advocate of the acquisition of skills and training for its YFC members and has been involved in the Agri-Skills Forum, Agri-Skills Forum Management group and latterly the Agri-Skills Development Strategy for many years. 

Chairman of the NFYFC Board of Management Delme Harries has attended recent meetings and said:

“The aims of the strategy group are a commitment to the long-term vision of gaining external recognition of the professionalism within the industry, and building on this through continuous professional development and lifelong learning.”

The SLG has also held consultation events ahead of the Covid-19 lockdown, including one with the NFU Next Generation Forum at the Oxford Farming Conference Fringe in January. The 200 attendees at this event gave 97% support for the work and concept of a professional body. 

There was also broad agreement for the professional body at a roundtable event at the House of Lords in early March and subsequent meetings with individual institutions have also been constructive.

All the work has been undertaken with the support of AHDB, NFU and also Defra officials.

Following a Ministerial proposal to Defra in June, the SLG is now working with Defra to establish the next steps to develop the proposal.  Over the next few months, a consultation group for the professional body, which is in the process of being established, will meet to inform further developments.

To find out more about the development of the professional body visit here. You can also register for updates here and tick the subscription option for 'Future of skills'.


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