Suffolk/Norfolk: EDGE scheme organisers ‘delighted’ at its success

David Lawrence, principal of Easton and Otley College, with young Agricultural apprentices at the ED

David Lawrence, principal of Easton and Otley College, with young Agricultural apprentices at the EDGE Apprenticeship launch - Credit: Archant

An industry-led programme in East Anglia aimed at boosting training opportunities in food and farming has received more than 100 enquiries from potential apprentices and employers.

EDGE Apprenticeships in Food and Farming was launched in March and after a busy summer at events including the Suffolk Show and Royal Norfolk Show, the EDGE team is busy matching suitable young people with business placements across the east of England.

The industry-led scheme will create hundreds of apprentice placements over the next two years. Project manager Richard Self said: “We’ve been delighted with the level of interest, both from young people looking for exciting opportunities and employers who see the value of employing an apprentice.”

“We are working with the apprentices and employers to match the right people to the right placements and hope to have our first EDGE apprentices in place very soon.”

He added: “We have lots of keen young people and enthusiastic employers just waiting to be matched, so anyone who is looking for a new young member of staff for their business, or looking to make their first step in a career in food and farming, should get in touch.”

The programme is supported by just over £1.4million of co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

It is a collaborative venture between agricultural purchasing groups Anglia Farmers and AtlasFram Group, in conjunction with Easton and Otley College, New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council.

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EDGE Apprenticeships in Food and Farming will offer training across a wide range of careers, both on-farm and in associated agri-science and agri-business roles.

Classroom-based training for apprentices will be provided by Easton and Otley College and other appropriate training bodies.

Employers who are able to offer placements and apprentices keen to take the first step in a career in food and farming can contact the EDGE team on 01603 881966 or email Richard.self@angliafarmers.co.uk. For more information, visit www.edgeapprenticeships.org.