Applications for the 2019 Professional Manager Development Scheme (PMDS) have now opened, with the first session starting in September.

Farmers who have now completed the 2017 management training scheme reported combined savings to their businesses in excess of £600,000.

Individually, each participant said they had saved around £50,000 or more in costs.

Designed to develop skills of those who manage staff, the AHDB course enables farmers and growers to apply business intelligence from other sectors, improve communication and understanding, to raise the level of professionalism in their business.

AHDB levy payers gain a £3,000 discount on the Institute of Leadership Management qualification run by training specialists, Cedar Associates.

Tess Howe, senior skills manager at AHDB said: “Developing your management skills should be no different to getting your farm business in shape; both deliver tangible benefits to support the longevity and sustainability of your business.”

There are 10 sessions during the 14-month programme, consisting of an evening discussion followed by a day of management training.

Having completed the training course in 2019, 29-year-old Charlotte Hudson of Hugh Lowe Farms, said: “Skills development is important across the whole of agriculture – before there was little development and skills were self-taught, or passed on by older generations.

Having courses to go on gives you confidence as a younger member of staff, to perform in your role while being aware of the potential implications of your actions. It also gives you confidence in yourself to help others grow their skills too.

“I now see myself working towards a five-year plan. I started out as a new entrant in the industry, having found myself put down from not having enough experience, not having done this or that.

"This course has been an excellent starting point in gaining that experience and jump-starting my career further, I’d now like to go down the business development or business management route.

"Right now, the more I can learn and do, the better.”

How to apply

Applications must be submitted by June 24, 2019, with more information available on the AHDB website.

Once received, an interview panel will review applications and interviews will take place on July 10, 2019.

The panel is looking for individuals who are already in a role with responsibilities and have the ability to implement change where required.

Participants should have the support of their employer before applying.

AHDB levy payers are eligible for a discount to attend the course, which costs £950 plus VAT and includes registration, tutor and hotel fees. Non-levy payers can apply but will be subject to the full £3,950 plus VAT cost.