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Sainsbury’s starts national apprenticeship scheme for horticulture and agriculture this month

LONDON, 2014-9-22— /EPR Retail News/ — Apprentices this month started on the first retailer-led national apprenticeship scheme for horticulture and agriculture. Through the Sainsbury’s scheme, the retailer is offering a City & Guilds accredited Level 2 Diploma which will give the apprentices hands on, practical experience within horticulture suppliers to Sainsbury’s.

Working with Staffline Agriculture, the British Growers Association and EDGE Apprenticeships in Food and Farming, this is the first cohort on the scheme with further cohorts planned for 2015.  Each apprentice has a role at a grower supplying Sainsbury’s and receives classroom training as well as on the job assessment in order to gain their level 2 apprenticeship.

The apprentices began their 20-month-long placement this week with visits to Strawsons and Winchester Growers before starting in varied roles across Sainsbury’s fruit and vegetable suppliers from apples through to mushrooms.

Robert Honeysett, Sainsbury’s Horticultural Manager said: “Food production across Agriculture and Horticulture is becoming ever more important to the UK, our apprenticeship is about bringing talented and dedicated people into our supply chain so we can plan for the future’.

It’s exciting that the apprentices have started this week and we encourage employers and potential apprentices to get in contact if they’re interested in joining subsequent groups.”

Alex Parkinson, Sainsbury’s Horticultural Apprentice said: “I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into my role at Taylorgrown. Sainsbury has created a fantastic opportunity and I’m particularly interested in learning all aspects of the job to give me the experience I need to one day become a farm manager.”

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to develop the next generation of skilled colleagues through a combination of on and off the job training while gaining valuable experience within a role throughout their apprenticeship.

Notes to editors:

Information for Employer

Information for Apprentice

Sainsbury’s Agriculture and Horticulture Apprenticeship is City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture production

Placements are with the following suppliers

  • Cornerways Nursery
  • Monaghan Mushrooms
  • Allpress Farms
  • G’s Fresh
  • AC Goatham & Son
  • New Farm Produce
  • Taylorgrown
  • Vitacress

Register your interest

If you are interested in joining the scheme, or you would like to discuss further, please email:

Our scheme partners

Staffline are a national recruitment and training organisation working predominantly in the food manufacturing sector with specialist divisions. With over 600 clients and 30,000 flexible workers located across the UK, Staffline are experts in providing workforces that are consistent or can flex in line with seasonal peaks and troughs.

Staffline Agriculture specialise in recruitment for direct employment and on an agency model within the agriculture and horticulture sector, as well as being a specialist City and Guilds Approved training provider.

Staffline will work with Sainsbury’s and BGA to organise and run the apprenticeship scheme from a logistical perspective and can act as the employer for apprentices under the Apprenticeship Training Agency model.

British Growers Association provides representation, leadership, coordination, expertise and support services for British growers. BGA maintain key relationships with Government departments, working alongside complementary industry Representative and Research bodies.

Along with Staffline, BGA will ensure a consistent national delivery network of the Apprenticeship Scheme is achieved and use their expertise to facilitate year round apprentice employment within the industry. Although BGA primarily represent growers, their knowledge and contacts extend to the livestock industry.

EDGE Apprenticeships in Food & Farming is an industry-led scheme that aims to educate, develop, grow and employ young people, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed.

The scheme was launched in March 2013 and will tackle skills shortages and a widening age gap in the food and farming industries. It has received industry-wide backing and is already successfully matching bright and enthusiastic young people with dynamic and exciting job opportunities.

The programme is led by employers and will help to attract the best young people, organise their training and simplify the process to encourage businesses to get involved and take on an apprentice.


Sainsbury’s starts national apprenticeship scheme for horticulture and agriculture this month
Sainsbury’s starts national apprenticeship scheme for horticulture and agriculture this month


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