What the NFU is doing for members on skills and training

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This page outlines some of the main national level skills work that the NFU is doing for members around skills and training.

NFU national level policy work on skills

A key component of the NFU’s national level policy work on skills has been our long running participation in activities to establish a professional bofy for skills and lifelong learning in production agriculture and horticulture. 

This has taken place through participation in initiatives by the Food and Drink Sector Council, and more recently through participation in TIAH (The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture). 

It is hoped that TIAH will be the home of skills and career support, helping people and businesses fulfil their potential and the industry thrive.

It will assist existing and new entrants by providing a gateway to all the advice, support and training needed to pursue a rewarding career in our industry.

TIAH will also support farmer and grower businesses with all the tailored advice and practical tools they need in relation to skills and lifelong learning for those within the business, enabling businesses to thrive in these times of change and in the future.

The NFU’s support for TIAH is premised on it delivering its vision of a one stop shop for all things skills and training in a manner that:

  • Helps improve health and safety, resilience and productivity in the industry
  • Ensures skills training and development is valuable, accessible and affordable to all farm businesses
  • Sees TIAH’s approach to growing its membership and embedding CPD (continuous development) does not introduce unacceptable elements of compulsion

The NFU is represented on TIAH’s board by NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw in his capacity as the NFU’s officeholder for skills and NFU member Owen Piper.

Apprenticeships and T-Levels

The NFU is involved at a national policy level with development of apprenticeships and T Levels, which are both considered as important entry routes to the industry. The NFU considers it important for there to be multiple entry routes into agriculture and horticulture at all levels, as well as options for ongoing development.


The NFU is involved in an Apprenticeship Trailblazer group which has worked to develop the following programmes:

In addition, the group has developed a new Level 4 Assistant Farm Manager apprentice programme, which has been approved by the regulator IFATE and is now currently awaiting funding confirmation.

T Levels

T Levels are a new technical qualification being rolled out in England across all occupations. The T Level in agriculture will launch in September 2023 in nine colleges, with more to follow in 2024.

Find out more about the colleges offering the new T Level in Agriculture and how you can get involved: T Levels – how can employers and industry experts get involved?

More on skills and training from NFUonline:

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