Next generation forum chairman David Ractliffe looks ahead to the new year

Published 30 December 2020

Our forum will continue to promote the voice of the next generation in the transformation of the industry’s currently fragmented skills landscape, through our representation on the group working to set up a professional body for the industry called The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH).

This has been a key priority for us and will become increasingly important as the industry transitions out of the EU, recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and prepares for net-zero farming. TIAH has the potential to reposition agriculture and horticulture as a dynamic industry that attracts and retains talent from a wide range of backgrounds. A clearer skills and careers pathway today will set the foundations for a more professional, skilled and productive workforce of the future, increasing the overall attractiveness and competitiveness of the farming industry.

With many new entrants into the industry being next generation farmers, the forum has an ambition to investigate the barriers they face and to explore tools to support entry. This will help to improve the churn for new talent and ultimately improve productivity, through potentially new and innovative ideas. This can further improve competitiveness, which will become more important after the UK’s transition out of the EU at the end of 2020.

To achieve these plans, the forum will need to continually engage with industry partners including the devolved nations’ next generation groups, the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and CEJA, the European Council of Young Farmers, to shape and voice next generation views on agricultural policy.

David Ractliffe
Chair, next generation forum

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