Exciting teenagers about a career in agriculture is the aim of a new joint project between The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and LEAF Education launched on Thursday (November 15).
A new training resource, supported by Defra, has been developed to help inspire young people to discover and research subject and career options in the food and farming industry.
The resource, called 'Future Farming', will be available for trainers to deliver to Young Farmers Clubs and in schools, as well as being accessible to teachers on the Countryside Classroom website.
Aimed primarily at schoolchildren in Year 9, the Future Farming project aims to break down misconceptions that a career in farming is just about livestock and tractors.
The project will support the work of the Agri-Food industry Workforce Skills and Development strategy.
Recent research findings by LEAF Education with 1,000 12 to 18-year-olds across the UK, in June this year, showed that almost a third of respondents would consider a career in farming but only 22% have ever been given information about jobs in the industry.
87% agreed that young people should be more interested in how food is produced and where it comes from.
Future Farming is an interactive session that will also help learners to achieve a greater understanding of importation, exportation and production.
The project supports Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education by developing critical thinking, encouraging learners to discuss and explore living in the wider world while encompassing economic and environmental wellbeing and aspects of agricultural, food and retail careers education.
On completion of the session, learners will understand the role that agriculture plays in solving global challenges and where British food comes from.
Future technologies will also be highlighted and promotion of the associated industries, extending into the food and retail sectors.
One of the goals for NFYFC’s chair of Council Lynsey Martin during her term of office was to encourage YFCs to play an active role in promoting the food and farming industry and its career options.
Lynsey, a member of Kent Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said: “There are so many misconceptions about pursuing a career in agriculture and I am so proud that YFC is helping to break those down with this new resource.
"This is an exciting industry to work in that needs skilled, technical people to keep up with the advances in technology and changing global food demands."
Head of LEAF Education Carl Edwards added: “Integral to our work as LEAF Education is inspiring and educating future generations about farming, food production and the countryside.
"Our young people are missing out on being part of a dynamic and vital industry because they simply do not know about it."