The Ernest Cook Trust has launched a new apprenticeship opportunity for young people interested in a career in farming at its upland sheep farm in Cumbria.

The Francis Stone Apprenticeship will close for applications on Monday, April 24, and the Ernest Cook Trust, a UK educational charity, will host an open afternoon for those interested on Monday, April 17.

The charity said that the successful applicant will start in September and have the chance to learn a thorough grounding in farming, based at Low Beckside Farm, Mungrisdale.

Head of learning strategy and delivery at the trust, Emily Crawley, said the Ernest Cook Trust is looking for applications from young people with a real interest in getting into farming, but who might otherwise struggle to make that step without support.

“We would like to make this an opportunity which is accessible to all, and will be paying the National Living Wage rather than the standard apprenticeship wage, to ensure that this is a financially viable opportunity for the successful applicant,” she said.

“We’ll also be offering a package of support including mentoring, extra training, work experience and the option of a travel bursary, if required.”

The Francis Stone Apprenticeship

The Francis Stone Apprenticeship is a full-time role, with 20% off-the-job training and is being run in conjunction with Kendal College.

Low Beckside Farm. Image: The Ernest Cook Trust

The charity said all training will take place at Low Beckside Farm, or at other farm locations in the area.

The apprenticeship programme lasts 18 months and is for a general farm worker with option 1: livestock worker.

“We’re very excited to welcome the new apprentice,” Crawley said.

“They’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on experience of upland sheep farming, and gain a number of qualifications in the process, including first aid, quad bike driving, spraying and veterinary medicines.

“They’ll also have the chance to work alongside other apprentices, and the students who visit Low Beckside Farm as part of their studies