Farmers and growers have just two months left to sign-up to become a ‘TIAH Cultivator’, a pilot scheme created to help shape TIAH’s (The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture) new skills and careers platform, which is set to launch to the wider industry in 2023.
As part of the pilot scheme, individuals will trial the online service, which brings together new and existing training opportunities to make skills and career development more accessible to all.
Mark Woods, a beef and arable farmer from the Wye Valley, signed up to become a ‘TIAH Cultivator’ as he wanted to play a part in developing skills and careers in the sector, particularly in light of the challenges surrounding recruitment and retention.
“I think the fact that TIAH is engaging the industry on the development of their platform before it goes live is fantastic,” says Mr Woods. “The pilot scheme gives individuals the opportunity to sense check what is being developed and provide real-time feedback on what’s required. It’s all about creating a system that’s fit for purpose,” he adds.
Through the scheme, Cultivators are offered the chance to join virtual training sessions, on a variety of topics, as and when it suits them.
Mr Woods explains that the struggle with recruitment and retention of staff due to misconceived perceptions about the industry and the available career options, is a significant concern across the industry, with many farmers vocal in expressing their concerns.
“However, this scheme is an opportunity to change the issue and allows farmers to play a part in the future success of agriculture and horticulture.
“It’s more important than ever that we work together to showcase the professionalism of the sectors and promote the fact that there are various exciting career paths that are more than just a ‘job’.
“I’d really encourage others to be proactive and sign up to the scheme to help attract and secure a highly skilled labour force,” he adds.
Janet Swadling, chief executive at TIAH, says that the organisation is very encouraged by the contribution that has already been made from farmers and growers who have signed up to the scheme.
“The Cultivators have already given us some fantastic feedback on the online platform, but we want to make sure every region is well represented in the scheme. Therefore, having a greater proportion of cultivators involved in the scheme will help us to ensure farmers and growers in every area are supported in their careers with the best possible service,” she says.
You can find out more about the pilot scheme and sign up to become a ‘TIAH Cultivator’ here: https://tiah.org/tiah-cultivators/. Anyone who has any further questions should contact Tess Howe, TIAH’s membership and business manager, on 0330 174 4290/ 07779 321078 or firstname.lastname@example.org