Training and skills development

There are a variety of training and development routes into the sector, as well as other ways to develop skills and experience. These can be particularly useful if you have less work experience in your desired role or area. 

If you know what jobs you are interested in, start by identifying the skills and experience required for that role and then identify how you could gain those. It might be through education, training, volunteering or self-directed learning. 

There are plenty of relevant higher education courses related to sustainable food and farming, however you do not need a degree to work in sustainable food.

Shorter courses can be a more accessible and affordable way to find out what part of the sector you're interested in or want to explore further. For example, FutureLearn run self-paced Future Food courses.

TALC (The Agroecology Learning Collective) has created a directory of skills, knowledge and training opportunities around agroecological learning. This includes short and long courses, CPD opportunities and one-off sessions. 

Organisations in the sector regularly run training that are useful for personal and professional development. It’s worth signing up to newsletters and following organisations on social media to get updates. This includes, but is not limited to:

Apprenticeships are a practical route that combine gaining a qualification with on-the-job experience. These will typically not focus on sustainable food production, unless you do a course like the Level 1 Horticulture through a provider such as OrganicLea however a general course is a really good foundation to build on and gain transferable skills.

Explore the Institute of Apprenticeships to find relevant opportunities. 

Another great way to develop skills and experience for sustainable food jobs is through volunteering. Look for opportunities on our jobs board as well as national website such as NCVO or Reach Volunteering or via your local online Volunteer Centre. Opportunities are also likely to be promoted in newsletters and on social media. If there are organisations that you’re interested in supporting or working for it is always worth emailing them directly as sometimes opportunities are not advertised.


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