Enrolment on the new Agriculture, Land Management and Production T Level is now open. These two-year courses, introduced in 2020, are equivalent to three A Levels, and arguably offer a new opportunity to attract new people to the industry.
T Levels, or Technical Levels, create a route into the industry for those who prefer a course where 80% is classroom based and 20% is an industry placement. After all, more than half (56.6%) of job seekers say a lack of work experience is their main barrier to employment, found the most recent Youth Voice Census.
Horticulture is desperately in need too, it would seem. As the Horticultural Trades Association’s learning and development manager Alex Jenkins succinctly puts it, “The recruitment challenges within our sector are well-documented.”
One design and build respondent this month says: “A lack of staff is affecting profitability as we cannot recruit good quality staff members at the moment and current staff are asking for high wage increases.”
Sound familiar? Opening T Level enrolment doesn’t seem to have done much to boost confidence yet; only 12% were more confident this month, compared to the same time last month, and 52% said they were less confident than the same month last year. But it’s potentially one step to addressing the “well-documented” skills shortage.