Easton and Otley College hosts farm apprentice boot camp

Presenter Phillipa Hall, front row, third from left, with contestants at the farmer's apprentice boot camp which took place at Easton and Otley College this week. Presenter Phillipa Hall, front row, third from left, with contestants at the farmer's apprentice boot camp which took place at Easton and Otley College this week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014
6:00 AM

Easton and Otley College hosted a competition to find a champion ‘apprentice’ farmer this week.

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Farmer's apprentice boot camp taking place at Easton and Otley CollegeFarmer's apprentice boot camp taking place at Easton and Otley College

Based loosely on the format of the BBC TV show made famous by business entrepreneur Alan Sugar, the competition set a series of agricultural-related business tasks via a boot camp.

Ten finalists were chosen out of 48 people who entered by submitting a video explaining why they should be involved and they competed against each other with the aim of scooping the top prize of £10,000 in a series of tasks last week. The results will be announced in September.

The event is being co-ordinated by partners including Farmers Weekly RBI, McDonalds, Anglia Farmers, Bayer Cropscience, The Co-operative, New Holland UK and ROI and Easton and Otley College.

All the contestants were filmed throughout the week’s boot camp, held at the Norfolk campus of Easton and Otley College, and the result of the competition will be aired online in September. Phillipa Hall from Sky News will present the awards.

Principal of Easton and Otley College, David Lawrence, said: “This competition is a really innovative way of getting across the opportunities we have in our industry and inspiring more people to take up careers in agriculture in a fun and interactive way. Part of that challenge is to ensure we have people with the right technical skills entering the industry and that is why we are delighted to be part of this competition.”

George Brown, the first Farmers Apprentice crowned in 2012, said: “The networking opportunity that came with the competition was invaluable, and has ultimately led to me securing a fantastic new position in the UK. The boot camp was challenging but great fun, and there aren’t too many other ways that I could acquire £10,000 in a week.”

Farming Minister George Eustice has also endorsed the competition by putting together a spoof entry video.

“Campaigns like the Farmer’s Apprentice are an important part of how we promote the industry as an attractive career choice and I fully support it,” he said.

“There’s a range of careers available across the agricultural industry from farming and engineering, to marketing and science jobs. With the industry contributing £9billion and 450 thousand jobs to the economy, it’s vitally important we invest in its future to ensure the sector continues to grow.

“That’s why Government is working hard with industry to support new entrants and create jobs through the provision of new courses and improved apprenticeship schemes.”

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