Page 1


Campaign showcases the diversity of careers in agriculture

About #ThisIsAgriculture

Danusia Osiowy looks at why the agricultural industry faces an image issue and highlights a new industry campaign, co-supported by Arable Farming, which aims to showcase the diversity of career opportunities available.

C

areer progression, job security and flexibility in hours are essential requirements for 16- to 35-year-olds across the UK looking to enter the workplace. These headline results were revealed in a recent Farmers Guardian online survey to determine what young people really wanted in a career and what could attract new talent into agriculture. Staff recruitment and retention have long been a challenge, and it is not just in agriculture. With a significant culture

change across the employment landscape, employers are now tasked on fitting with the needs of young people today, particularly on flexible working hours and skills development. It is not about earning a high income, with most young people (54%) expecting to earn £20,000-£25,000 or less by the age of 26. Our survey results revealed more than 65% of respondents said a high income was only quite, or not very, important. According to a report on Generation Y (those born from the mid-1990s onwards) by recruitment agency The Hays, this emerging group has

Watch the video AS part of National Careers Week, held in March, a video was launched showcasing agriculture at the cutting edge of modern technology and at the forefront of innovations in key areas, such as IT, forensics, engineering, automation and design. To watch the video and for more information about the #ThisIsAgriculture campaign visit FGinsight.com/ThisIs Agriculture

16

APRIL 2019

a thirst for knowledge and the highest ranked factor when deciding on a potential employer was training and development. The report said: “They want leaders who can help them to fulfil their full potential by coaching and mentoring them.” However, the UK agricultural sector has been criticised in an AHDB paper from January 2018 for falling behind other countries on offering training programmes for staff. It said: “British farmers and growers under-invest in new skills and training relative to their competitors.”

This also correlates with the ongoing challenge of a poor public perception of agriculture. Lantra’s chief executive Marcus Potter says: “Sadly, agriculture is branded as where you send the bottom 10%. It is seen as low-skilled, low pay, unsociable hours, hard work and dirty.”

Misconception HOPS Labour Solutions director John Hardman believes it was a misconception that could be changed: “It is an industry perception of young people coming out of school and that people think farmers still wear dungarees with straw in their mouths. In fact, it is a very technical industry. “As an industry, we are extremely poor at marketing how good our industry is and the opportunities long-term. “There is no cheerleader to say ‘come and work for us’. We are fighting against IT and automotive industries that are much better at marketing themselves.” The skills gap challenge is going to get worse with Brexit and an increased difficulty in attracting overseas labour; increasing the urgency of attracting young blood into the sector. Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City and Guilds, says: “With the lowest unemployment figures for

decades, but about 800,000 vacancies being advertised for at any one time, it is fairly clear competition to attract workers is fierce.” “We have an image issue,” says Lord Don Curry, who has recently chaired a group reporting on improving recruitment in the agricultural sector. “This, coupled with competition from other industries, is stopping people from coming into the industry. “To build our future strategy on presuming there will be a flow of people from the EU is looking increasingly flawed, so attracting people from inside Britain, with the promise of career progress, needs to take priority.” This is unlikely to be a short-term task, with the sector already facing a big skills gap on middle and general managers, technical staff and lowskilled, seasonal labour, compounded

by a lack of agricultural knowledge among young people today. But farming and the wider agricultural sector has a good story to tell, says Caroline Drummond, chief executive of Leaf. She says: “There is a stigma with agriculture that does not reflect what the food, farming and rural industries deliver. The breadth of exciting skills agriculture offers is enormous, but the rhetoric stems around everyone wanting to be a farmer, which confuses things. Farming is one slice of the cake of what agriculture offers in the career spectrum.” The solution is for agriculture to start talking about all the technology it uses and the opportunities it offers for highly skilled employment, using GPS-powered tractors and drones, says Robin Jackson, of City and Guilds.

ARABLE Farming has joined forces with 21 key industry stakeholders from across the sector to launch the new campaign to promote careers in agriculture. The challenge of recruiting is not a new one. Attracting new blood into the industry has always been an issue, with agriculture rarely sold as an exciting option into schools. The campaign will work to educate the wider world about the wealth of opportunities available within the sector, as well as dispelling common myths about careers in agriculture. We will also be collaborating with industry bodies and our industry partners to see where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources.

He says: “Kids see historical insights into agriculture at museums. They almost need to go to the John Deere factory or JCB factory and have them introduced that way. We need to get them really excited about technology and future opportunities, such as monitoring crops with drones, which is something highly likely to happen in future.”

Problem Research by The Rural England think tank and Scotland’s Rural College, commissioned by Amazon reveals

the problem is also indicative in other industries. More than half of respondents complained of a lack of digitally-savvy staff and training opportunities and one-fifth said they struggled to find the right staff and their existing workforce did not have the necessary digital skills. Yet 80% said they saw online tools as key to their future growth prospects. Only by professionalising the industry will we be able to attract young people in this high-tech, digital age.

APRIL 2019

17


Campaign showcases the diversity of careers in agriculture

About #ThisIsAgriculture

Danusia Osiowy looks at why the agricultural industry faces an image issue and highlights a new industry campaign, co-supported by Dairy Farmer, which aims to showcase the diversity of career opportunities available.

C

areer progression, job security and flexibility in hours are essential requirements for 16- to 35-year-olds across the UK looking to enter the workplace. These headline results were revealed in a recent Farmers Guardian online survey to determine what young people really wanted in a career, and what could attract new talent into agriculture. Staff recruitment and retention have long been a challenge, and it is not just in agriculture. With a significant culture

change across the employment landscape, employers are now tasked on fitting with the needs of young people today, particularly on flexible working hours and skills development. It is not about earning a high income, with most young people (54%) expecting to earn £20,000-£25,000 or less by the age of 26. Our survey results revealed more than 65% of respondents said a high income was only quite, or not very, important. According to a report on Generation Y (those born from the mid-1990s onwards) by recruitment agency The Hays, this emerging group has

Watch the video AS part of National Careers Week, held in March, a video was launched showcasing agriculture at the cutting edge of modern technology and at the forefront of innovations in key areas such as IT, forensics, engineering, automation and design. To watch the video and for more information about the #ThisIsAgriculture campaign visit FGinsight.com/ThisIs Agriculture

58

DAIRY FARMER

APRIL 2019

a thirst for knowledge and the highest ranked factor when deciding on a potential employer was training and development. The report said: “They want leaders who can help them to fulfil their full potential by coaching and mentoring them.” However, the UK agricultural sector has been criticised in an AHDB paper from January 2018 for falling behind other countries on offering training programmes for staff. It said: “British farmers and growers under-invest in new skills and training relative to their competitors.”

This also correlates with the ongoing challenge of a poor public perception of agriculture. Lantra’s chief executive Marcus Potter says: “Sadly, agriculture is branded as where you send the bottom 10%. It is seen as low-skilled, with low pay, unsociable hours, hard work and dirty.”

Misconception HOPS Labour Solutions director John Hardman believes it was a misconception that could be changed: “It is an industry perception of young people coming out of school, and that people think farmers still wear dungarees with straw in their mouths. In fact, it is a very technical industry. “As an industry, we are extremely poor at marketing how good our industry is and the opportunities long-term. “There is no cheerleader to say ‘come and work for us’. We are fighting against IT and automotive industries that are much better at marketing themselves.” The skills gap challenge is going to get worse with Brexit and an increased difficulty in attracting overseas labour; increasing the urgency of attracting young blood into the sector. Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City and Guilds, says: “With the lowest unemployment figures for

decades, but about 800,000 vacancies being advertised for at any one time, it is fairly clear competition to attract workers is fierce.” “We have an image issue,” says Lord Don Curry, who has recently chaired a group reporting improving recruitment in the agricultural sector. “This, coupled with competition from other industries, is stopping people from coming into the industry. “To build our future strategy on presuming there will be a flow of people from the EU is looking increasingly flawed, so attracting people from inside Britain, with the promise of career progress, needs to take priority.” This is unlikely to be a short-term task, with the sector already facing a big skills gap on middle and general managers, technical staff and lowskilled, seasonal labour, compounded

by a lack of agricultural knowledge among young people today. But farming and the wider agricultural sector has a good story to tell, says Caroline Drummond, chief executive of LEAF. She says: “There is a stigma with agriculture that does not reflect what the food, farming and rural industries deliver. The breadth of exciting skills agriculture offers is enormous, but the rhetoric stems around everyone wanting to be a farmer, which confuses things. Farming is one slice of the cake of what agriculture offers in the career spectrum.” The solution is for agriculture to start talking about all the technology it uses and the opportunities, using GPS-powered tractors and drones, says Robin Jackson of City and Guilds. He says: “Kids see historical

DAIRY Farmer has joined forces with 21 key industry stakeholders from across the sector to launch the new campaign to promote careers in agriculture. The challenge of recruiting is not a new one. Attracting new blood into the industry has always been an issue, with agriculture rarely sold as an exciting option in schools. The campaign will work to educate the wider world about the wealth of opportunities available within the sector, as well as dispelling common myths about careers in agriculture. We will also be collaborating with industry bodies and outside industry partners to see where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources.

insights into agriculture at museums. They almost need to go to the John Deere factory or JCB factory and have them introduced that way. We need to get them really excited about technology and future opportunities, such as monitoring crops with drones, which is something highly likely to happen in future.”

Research Research by The Rural England think tank and Scotland’s Rural College, commissioned by Amazon, reveals the problem is also

present in other industries as well. More than half of respondents complained of a lack of digitally-savvy staff and training opportunities, and one-fifth said they struggled to find the right staff and their existing workforce did not have the necessary digital skills. Yet 80% said they saw online tools as key to their future growth prospects. Only by professionalising the industry will we be able to attract young people in this high-tech, digital age.

APRIL 2019

DAIRY FARMER

59


BERSr EMEM FG Rrie s from the Great Wa Farm sto

November 9 2018 | £3.40 | Subscribe for £2.65 | FGInsight.com

THE HEART OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK

4x4s

BUSINESS

All the winners from AgriExpo

Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers an edgy ride

Dairy standards being driven up

PAGE 94

PAGE 87

PAGE 16

MEAT TAX ANGER ● Academics suggest red meat levy ● ‘No evidence’ to support new tax By Olivia Midgley ACADEMICS and farming groups have clashed over suggestions a tax on red meat should be introduced to account for the ‘cost burden’ on the NHS and spur changes in consumption patterns. A study by the Oxford Martin School and the Nuffield Department of Population Health said a tax,

similar to that imposed on alcohol, tobacco and sugar, could prevent almost 6,000 deaths a year in the UK and save the economy more than £700 million in healthcare costs. Researchers referred to a controversial World Health Organisation report which linked beef, lamb and pork to an increased CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

NEXT-GEN SUCCESS Young people keen to develop careers in ag Pages 18-19


Agriculture: the untold careers option in schools

About #ThisIsAgriculture

As part of our #ThisIsAgriculture campaign, we talk to two young professionals whose different backgrounds and ambitions have helped secure successful careers in British agriculture.

Andy Venables: Dairy farmer and marketing consultant

Lauren Dean: Agricultural journalist

ANDY Venables (pictured above) turned his back on a career as a city worker excelling in digital marketing in favour of starting a new life in agriculture. He says: “Sitting in traffic for up to three hours a day commuting into Manchester gives you plenty of thinking time. “It was one particularly lovely sunny spring morning when I was sat bumper to bumper on the M60 that I asked myself, ‘what am I doing this for?’” Having grown up on his family’s dairy farm, Andy, 31, decided to pursue a career in London; Melbourne, Australia; and then Manchester across 10 years before his head started to turn at what opportunities agriculture could offer. “I was particularly excited by the level of technology emerging from the sector.

IT was while she was deciding on her A-level choices, aged 16, Lauren Dean considered becoming a broadcast journalist. She says: “Primarily I had the dream one day I would be sat on the This Morning sofa next to Philip Schofield.” Fast forward almost eight years and Lauren now works in magazine journalism as an award-winning journalist at Farmers Guardian, writing about topics she never even knew were even ‘a thing’. Although not from a farming family, she always had an appreciation of the countryside while growing up, so when a reporter role was advertised on the national publication, she applied. “Two-and-a-half years later and it has opened my eyes to an industry I hope will actually always have a place somewhere in my life. “I think having come into the industry with a bit of a blank canvas, I have been able to experience the breadth and depth of what agriculture has to offer, aside from the stereotypical

tractors and wellies which people seem so cut on instilling is the only side to farming there is.”

I think a lot of people take for granted the farming behind the food, but there is so much more to your supermarket shop LAUREN DEAN

Smallholding

Such has been its influence, Lauren, now 23, has now persuaded her boyfriend Ben to buy a garden big enough for a smallholding when they are older to secure food provenance and contribute to the industry in a different way. “Speaking with experience, I think a lot of people take for granted the

farming behind the food, but there is so much more to your supermarket shop and people need to be told – starting young – of the story behind it.” Although working in an industry with no prior knowledge was initially

challenging, Lauren learned on the job and soon realised the opportunities and impact agriculture has, not just nationally, but across the whole world. From sitting with a 92-year-old farming stalwart who champions the role of family farms, to going out for the day on patrol with the Cambridgeshire Rural Crime Action Team, or producing hard-hitting stories which lead the news agenda, Lauren believes agriculture is the untold career in schools.

Disregarded

“Agriculture is so often disregarded in schools, as people believe it is something you are either born into or it will not be a highly skilled or well-paid job, but kids should be taught they could go on to be engineers, soil scientists or the person at the end of the phone offering support to farmers in need. “Little did I think I would ever be working as an agricultural journalist, but the possibilities really are endless.”

“To non-farmers, I feel farming is perceived as behind the times when actually there is more technology embraced in farming than most would imagine. For example, GPS was in tractors way before most cars.

Profitable

“Farmers have to look at efficiencies to ensure their business remains profitable, so if there is technology which will help them become more efficient, they will invest. In dairy, heat monitoring systems are now widely used. “I felt there was a massive opportunity for our farm business to use technology more to improve efficiencies on-farm.” Andy’s farm now works with Map Of Agriculture as a UK demonstration

Farmers Guardian has joined forces with 21 key industry stakeholders from across the farming sector to promote careers in agriculture, collaborating with industry bodies and industry partners to see how and where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources. Articles will feature in Farmers Guardian to help agricultural businesses and farms understand recruitment and staff retention challenges and practical ideas they can adopt to mark the evolving changes which are happening in the careers, skills and training arena.

Next time: How one stand-out Sunday in the year can attract the next generation into agriculture. farm to help them develop new products to support farmers. “I came back to the farm almost two years ago and, since then, we have grown the dairy business and started a new diversification business, Hillsgreen, an independent consultancy which specialises in helping to grow businesses in the rural sector.” Developing skills to help him stand out from the crowd has been an area Andy has enjoyed exploring. “Working as part of the Co-op

Pioneers scheme has been hugely beneficial and brought together like-minded young professionals to provide business training which has a focus on agriculture business.”

Variety

For Andy, one of the key benefits in working in agriculture is variety: He says: “Working in agriculture is never dull. There is always plenty to do and no two days are ever the same. I have no regrets.”

Watch the video AS part of National Careers Week, held in March, a video was launched showcasing agriculture at the cutting edge of modern technology and at the forefront of innovations in key areas, such as

16 | APRIL 12 2019

IT, forensics, engineering, automation and design. To watch the video and for more information about the #ThisIsAgriculture campaign, visit FGinsight. com/ThisIsAgriculture

FGinsight.com

FGinsight.com

APRIL 12 2019 | 17


Time to tackle agriculture’s outdated stereotypes

About #ThisIsAgriculture

In the fourth article of our #ThisIsAgriculture campaign, Danusia Osiowy takes a look at why the industry faces an image issue and why we must address the existing skills gap now more than ever.

C

areer progression, job security and flexibility in hours are essential requirements for 16 to 35 year olds across the UK looking to enter the workplace. These headline results were revealed in a Farmers Guardian online survey to determine what young people really wanted in a career and what could attract new talent into agriculture. Staff recruitment and retention have long been a challenge, and it is not just in agriculture. With a significant culture

change across the employment landscape, employers are now tasked on fitting with the needs of young people today, particularly on flexible working hours and skills development. It is not about earning a high income, with most young people (54 per cent) expecting to earn £20,000-£25,000 or less by the age of 26. Our survey results revealed more than 65 per cent of respondents said a high income was only quite, or not very, important. According to a report on Generation Y (those born from the mid-1990s

onwards) by recruitment agency The Hays, this emerging group has a thirst for knowledge and the highest ranked factor when deciding on a potential employer was training and development. The report said: “They want leaders who can help them to fulfil their full potential by coaching and mentoring them.”

Misconception

However, the UK agricultural sector has been criticised in an AHDB paper from January 2018 for falling behind other countries on offering training pro-

grammes for staff. It said: “British farmers and growers under-invest in new skills and training relative to their competitors.” This also correlates with the ongoing challenge of a poor public perception of agriculture. Lantra’s chief executive Marcus Potter says: “Sadly, agriculture is branded as where you send the bottom 10 per cent. It is seen as low-skilled, low pay, unsociable hours, hard work and dirty.” HOPS Labour Solutions director John Hardman believes it was a misconception that could be changed: “It is

Existing skills gap AGRICULTURE does not just face an image issue, but is facing a big skills gap across its existing workforce. Management is one key area with skills missing within the agricultural industry, says HOPS Labour Solutions director John Hardman. He says: “Management skills, whether that is resource management, equipment management or taking time to do things well, are not necessarily taught before coming into agriculture. Management training does not necessarily take place.” Robin Jackson, of City and Guilds, also recognises the skills gap in managers. He highlights first-tier managers, workshop managers or large farming businesses, where they have someone running the pig unit with two or three staff underneath them. 18 | FEBRUARY 8 2019

He says: “It is not necessarily technical competence, but supervisory skills and to manage and lead. That is not necessarily something that is delivered or is part of conventional college courses or education.”

Problem

Research by The Rural England think tank and Scotland’s Rural College, commissioned by Amazon (800 companies) reveals the problem is also indicative in other industries. More than half of respondents complained of a lack of digitally-savvy staff and training opportunities and one-fifth said they struggled to find the right staff and their existing workforce did not have the necessary digital skills. Yet 80 per cent said they saw online tools as key to their future growth prospects.

Yet when it comes to recruiting for technologists into his aeroponics company, LettUs Grow, engineer Charlie Guy has had hundreds of applicants. He believes there will be a resurgence in tech people going into agriculture, attracted by tech, AI and drones: “All the tech buzzwords, you can use in farming.” He thinks the fact more money is being put into agri-technology due to sustainability issues, should encourage people into it. He says: “As long as it is wellnurtured, I see it doing well. A lot of technologists I know love the idea of working in food.” Only by professionalising the industry will we be able to attract young people in this high-tech, digital age.

The need for change is already being spearheaded by a new coalition which aims to revolutionise the skills gap in agriculture. The industry coalition, which includes AHDB, manufacturers, retailers, agricultural colleges, farmers and leading food producers, has united to back a transformation in farming skills and recruitment.

an industry perception of young people coming out of school and that people think farmers still wear dungarees with straw in their mouths. In fact, it is a very technical industry. “As an industry, we are extremely poor at marketing how good our industry is and the opportunities long-term. There is no cheerleader to say ‘come and work for us’. We are fighting against IT and automotive industries that are much better at marketing themselves.” The skills gap challenge is going to get worse with Brexit and an increased difficulty in attracting overseas labour; increasing the urgency of attracting young blood into the sector. Kirstie Donnelly, managing director of City and Guilds, says: “With the lowest unemployment figures for decades, but about 800,000 vacancies being advertised for at any one time, it is fairly clear competition to attract workers is fierce.” In reality, UK farming can no longer

rely on overseas labour, says Lord Don Curry, who has recently chaired a group reporting improving recruitment in the agricultural sector. “We have an image issue,” says Lord Curry. This, coupled with competition from other industries are stopping people from coming into the industry. “To build our future strategy on presuming there will be a flow of people from the EU is looking increasingly flawed, so attracting people from inside Britain, with the promise of career progress, needs to take priority.” This is unlikely to be a short-term task, with the sector already facing a big skills gap on middle and general managers, technical staff and low-skilled, seasonal labour, compounded by a lack of agricultural knowledge among young people today. But farming and the wider agricultural sector has a good story to tell, says Caroline Drummond, chief executive of Leaf.

Farmers Guardian has joined forces with 19 key industry stakeholders from across the farming sector to promote careers in agriculture, collaborating with industry bodies and industry partners to see how and where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources. Articles will feature in Farmers Guardian to help agricultural businesses and farms understand recruitment and staff retention challenges and practical ideas they can adopt to mark the evolving changes which are happening in the careers, skills and training arena.

Next time: A closer look at the Senior Skills Leadership Group and the political report which inspired its launch. She says: “There is a stigma with agriculture that does not reflect what the food, farming and rural industries deliver. The breadth of exciting skills agriculture offers are enormous, but the rhetoric stems around everyone wanting to be a farmer, which confuses things. Farming is one slice of the cake of what agriculture offers in the career spectrum.” The solution is for agriculture to start talking about all the technology it uses and the opportunities it offers for highly skilled employment, using

GPS-powered tractors and drones, says Robin Jackson, of City and Guilds. He says: “Kids see historical insights into agriculture at museums. They almost need to go to the John Deere factory or JCB factory and have them introduced that way. We need to get them really excited about technology and future opportunities, such as monitoring crops with drones, which is something highly likely to happen in future.” MORE INFORMATION Visit FGinsight.com/ThisIsAgriculture

Framework

The Senior Skills Leadership Group will create a framework with new qualifications relevant to the needs of employers in the future, develop career paths and fresh approaches to recruitment, and encourage mechanisms for continued professional development and business support. FGinsight.com

FGinsight.com

FEBRUARY 8 2019 | 19


Industry unites to promote careers in agriculture

A

large proportion of young people in Britain are interested in working in the food and farming sector, but their career expectations may come as a surprise to many, with job security and work/life balance coming out as top requirements for job seekers. These are the headline findings of an industry-backed Farmers Guardian survey of 16- to 35-year-olds across the UK, which sheds light on what young people really want from their

Participants

(35% male; 65% female)

Aged 16-18: 8% Aged 19-21: 30% Aged 22-23: 21% Aged 24-26: 23% Aged 27-35: 17%

93% Opportunity

careers and what could attract new talent into the agricultural sector. Of almost 1,800 respondents, 59 per cent said they were interested in a career in the agro-industries. However, the survey highlighted a lack of understanding around the opportunities the sector can offer, with only 5 per cent of respondents recognising there were engineering- or science-related careers available within the agricultural industry and only 7 per cent making the connection between agriculture and environmental careers. Caroline Drummond, chief executive of Leaf, says: “There is a stigma with agriculture that does not reflect what the food, farming and rural industries deliver. “The breadth of exciting skills agriculture offers is enormous, but the rhetoric stems around ‘everyone

About the campaign Farmers Guardian has joined forces with 19 key industry stakeholders from across the farming sector to launch a new campaign, #ThisIsAgriculture, to promote careers in agriculture. The challenge of recruiting is not a new one. Attracting new blood into the industry has always been an issue, with agriculture rarely sold as an exciting option into schools. However, with the pace of technological change rapidly widening the skills gap and Brexit looming, the need to drive change within the industry has intensified greatly over recent years. Building on the learning from the #ThisIsAgriculture survey, this initiative will work to educate the wider world about the wealth of opportunities available within the sector, as well as dispelling common myths about careers in agriculture. We will also be collaborating with industry bodies and our industry partners to see where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources. The campaign will also be sharing information with readers about how to attract – and retain – the right staff for farming businesses across the UK. wants to be a farmer’, which confuses things. Farming is one slice of the cake of what agriculture offers in the career spectrum.” Marcus Potter, Lantra, is in agreement: “Sadly, agriculture is branded as where you send the bottom 10 per cent. It is seen as low-skilled, low pay, unsociable hours, hard work and dirty.” The survey clearly highlights if the industry is to attract the brightest minds to work in the sector there is a large public relations exercise to be done.

Simultaneously, the research showed the need for the industry to understand the changing requirements of today’s workforce, as respondents expressed the importance of flexible working hours and skills development. Asked about the criteria on which they based their job selection, 98 per cent said they rated job security and a fun or pleasant working environment essential, very or quite important. Achieving a good work/life balance came out at 94 per cent.

Important factors for the work environment

49%

92%

92%

98%

85%

98%

Power and prestige

Fun or pleasant work environment

Helping others

High income

All three criteria ranked well ahead of ‘high income’, which came seventh on the list, behind opportunity, helping others and location. Drilling down further into salary expectations, just more than half (54 per cent) said they expected to earn £20,000-£25,000 or less by the age of 26.

Career progression

They also indicated they wanted to see jobs in agriculture offer career development. The opportunity for career progression was cited as

either an essential requirement or very important by 70 per cent of respondents to the survey. However, the UK agricultural sector has been criticised in an AHDB paper from January 2018 for falling behind other countries on offering training programmes for staff. It said: “British farmers and growers under-invest in new skills and training relative to their competitors.” Following the research, which was conducted over summer, FG is proud to announce the launch of our new campaign, #ThisIsAgriculture.

The top ‘broad career areas’ of interest to respondents were:

31%

1. Agro-industries (59%)

of respondents said they expected to earn

2. Public sector (17%)

£20,000-£25,000

3. Communications (8%)

by the age of 26

Intellectually challenging

Job security

MORE INFORMATION Visit FGinisght.com/ThisIsAgriculture

18 | NOVEMBER 9 2018

FGinsight.com

FGinsight.com

NOVEMBER 9 2018 | 19


Generation Z: What they want in the workplace

R

ecruiting good staff in agriculture is notoriously challenging and holding on to them even more so. Last month, we reflected on how the dynamic of the workforce has changed significantly over the last few decades and why the industry needs to adapt to such cultural change if it is to recruit the best new blood and prevent employees from jumping ship. Harnessing the right people in the right way is crucial, as is understanding their professional wants and needs. At the heart of this change has been the emergence of millennials (see Farmers Guardian, December 12) but increasing attention is now turning to the next group entering the workforce. Including those born around the mid-1990s, Generation Z is the first global generation of digital natives, consuming their knowledge through the internet and social media and choosing to broadcast the minutiae

In the third article of our #ThisIsAgriculture campaign, Danusia Osiowy finds out about cultural shifts in the workplace and why the industry must understand the needs of ‘Generation Z’ if it is to prosper in the future. of their day to an audience which enjoys interacting with that story. When it comes to career goals, Gen Zs are ambitious, want an employer they can respect, are willing to work nights and weekends and actively look for employment which offers certain standards and benefits, according to Growth Business UK.

Attributes

Founder of Millennial Branding Dan Schawbel, who co-commissioned a study which spoke to 1,000 individuals from both groups across 10 countries, including the UK, suggests there are other key attributes which distinguish Generation Z from millennials.

“Gen Z has a clear advantage over Gen Y as it appears to be more realistic instead of optimistic, is likely to be more career-minded and can quickly adapt to new technology to work more effectively,” says Mr Schawbel. “Since Gen Z has seen how much Gen Y has struggled in the recession, they come to the workplace better prepared, less entitled and more equipped to succeed.” But many UK businesses are not prepared for them to start work and agriculture, like other industries, is struggling to attract and retain top talent from the younger pool of workers. While some argue young people entering the workplace need to

toughen up and understand industry protocol, in reality this attitude is losing the ability to attract the brightest and best individuals. So what are the key areas the agricultural industry can focus on to help recruit and retain staff in line with wider cultural trends? ● Security matters: Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Zs have grown up amid a global recession, war and recurrent terrorism. As a result, they are more risk-averse and seek more stability and security than the freedom and flexibility millennials desire. While they do care about making a difference in the workplace, ultimately they are motivated by job security and personal safety.

● The rise of entrepreneurial spirit: Growing up with such global, economic and social unrest seems to have also encouraged increased entrepreneurial spirit. Building your own personality and sharing this information across digital platforms is the norm. Gen Z marketing strategist Deep Patel says: “The newly developing high tech and highly networked world has resulted in an entire generation thinking and acting more entrepreneurially. Many Gen Z identifying factors can be traced back to the recession in 2008, from their frugality, to their value of experiences, and increased likelihood to become entrepreneurs.” ● Gen Zs want to communicate faceto-face: While millennials prefer to communicate over email, research suggests Gen Zs prefer in-person discussion over instant messaging or email. The likes of Skype, FaceTime, Google+ and Snapchat have also allowed this cohort to communicate with a full

range of sound and motion, instead of just text, to people all over the world. ● Transparency and honesty promotes productivity: According to a study by Randstad, a global HR specialist, 38 per cent of Gen Zs and millennials put being able to collaborate in the workplace at the top of attributes which enable them to work productively. To attract and, more importantly, keep top Gen Z talent, business leaders need to create open and collaborative cultures which rewards on merit, not just time spent in a company. ● Higher education choices are not always the preferred route: Some prefer to avoid putting themselves into thousands of pounds of debt over a number of years in favour of moving straight into the workforce. With such transferable skills in other areas, if Gen Zs know they are capable of learning something themselves, or through a more efficient, non-traditional route, they will embrace that opportunity.

About #ThisIsAgriculture Farmers Guardian has joined forces with 19 key industry stakeholders from across the farming sector to promote careers in agriculture, collaborating with industry bodies and industry partners to see how and where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources. Articles will feature in Farmers Guardian to help agricultural businesses and farms understand recruitment and staff retention challenges and practical ideas they can adopt to mark the evolving changes which are happening in the careers, skills and training arena.

Next time: With Lord Don Curry saying ‘farming has an image issue,’ we look at the future challenges for the industry. ● Gen Zs will multitask: Gen Zs have never lived in a world without social media. They are used to constant updates from dozens of apps across a host of platforms and can quickly and efficiently shift between work and play, with multiple distractions going on in the background. As a result, they might not have as much of a strict definition between work and home, an area which could change the workplace even more in the coming years. ● A work-life balance is required: Young people are considering how their

profession will impact their personal life before deciding on a company to work for. The conclusions come from a survey carried out by YouGov, which asked 1,000 respondents between the ages of 17 and 23. One-third said work-life balance was the most important factor when selecting a job, second only to pay. John Allan, president of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Firms need to do more to ensure young people want to work and stay with them, taking into account work-life balance, fair pay and providing routes to success.”

Understanding the generations 1946-1964

1965-1979

1980-1995

SOURCE: KPMG

GEN

GEN

X BABY BOOMERS: Born in the post-WW2 baby boom, Baby boomers enjoyed free student grants, low house prices and now hold the reins of power and have the most economic clout.

18 | JANUARY 11 2019

GEN X: The generation also known as Gen Bust because their birth rate was vastly lower then the preceding Baby Boomers. Gen X are now becoming ‘helicopter parents’ of Gen Z.

1996-2010

Z MILLENNIALS: Also known as ‘Generation Y’, millennials have been shaped by the technology revolution that saw computers, tablets and the web become central to work and life.

GEN Z: The generation reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. They are also hailed as ‘the first tribe of true digital natives’ or ‘screenagers’.

FGinsight.com

MORE INFORMATION Visit FGinsight.com/ThisIsAgriculture

FGinsight.com

JANUARY 11 2019 | 19


How millennials are changing industries In the second article of our #ThisIsAgriculture campaign, Danusia Osiowy takes a closer look at one of the most significant cultural changes facing all current employers looking to recruit and retain the best in the business.

C

an you spot a millennial from a Gen Z? A Baby Boomer from a Traditionalist? Haven’t a clue or care about any of it? Herewith lies the problem. There has been a significant cultural shift across the generations within the global employment landscape and agriculture is no different. Individuals entering any industry today have requirements, ambitions and expectations, and if our industry wants to recruit the best new blood and prevent current employees from

jumping ship, understanding and reacting to those needs is vital. At the heart of this change is the emergence of two particularly strong generational identities referred to as either a ‘millennial’ or ‘Generation Z’. And while the two have become buzzwords with business researchers and the media worldwide, how many of us in agriculture really understand what either is and why it even matters? The challenge of recruiting into the agricultural industry is not a new one. In fact, many sectors are fighting the same battle over how to attract,

engage and retain the brightest individuals on the market. If agriculture wants its talent and expertise to thrive, harnessing the right people in the right way is crucial, as is understanding their professional wants and needs. The main challenges surrounding recruitment into agriculture is sourcing labour, finding those with the appropriate skills and the right mindset. John Tanner, founder and principal consultant of Business Consulting Solutions, says: “Each generation comes with its own

values and perspective of the world based on their life experiences. “They are shaped by their year of birth, age and critical events that occurred in society, and these differences give each generation unique work values and work ethics and preferred ways of managing and being managed.”

Cultural shift

In a report published last year, KPMG highlighted companies needed to better their efforts in understanding the current workforce demographic if they are to recruit and retain the best. The one-size-fits-all approach simply does not exist anymore, explains Sitara Kurian, the report’s lead author and KPMG’s management consultant. She says: “Millennials are the bulk of the people on the ground:

About the campaign

the do-ers. They currently comprise 35 per cent of the UK’s workforce and are set to represent 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020. “They bring wants and needs which differ greatly to those that came before them and hold more bargaining power than ever before in the labour market place. “Companies need to be aware of how to move that power in their favour, alluring them with the right selling points and plying them with the right perks to make them stick around and stop them jumping ship.” Brexit and the power of the sterling is already affecting labour sourcing. Farm businesses sourcing labour from eastern Europe are particularly struggling and finding those with the appropriate skills and knowledge is also a challenge. Research by Farmers Guardian has

also identified a skills gap in technical roles, low-skilled seasonal labour and in middle management. So what areas can agricultural businesses focus on to help attract and retain the right staff in line with the wider cultural, professional and social trends? l Culture is key: As millennials scan the market place for their next job move, they are looking at how the employer portrays the overall experience of working with them and that will influence whether or not to apply for the position. l Work must be enjoyable: Millennials embody the sentiment that life is too short to be stuck in a dead-end job. If anything is perceived as ‘long’ or ‘boring’ you have lost them; enjoyment of their working day is key. l Open and honest communication is a must: Millennials are honest with one another and expect the same from their employer. They want to know their

Farmers Guardian has joined forces with 19 key industry stakeholders from across the farming sector to launch a new campaign, #ThisIsAgriculture, to promote careers in agriculture, collaborating with industry bodies and industry partners to see how and where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources. Articles will feature in Farmers Guardian to help agricultural businesses and farms understand recruitment and staff retention challenges and practical ideas they can adopt to mark the evolving changes that are happening in the careers, skills and training arena.

Next time: The key differences between millennials and Generation Z and why the agricultural industry needs to know opinion matters and their insights are contributing to a bigger picture which is allowing the company to develop. l Mentor motivation: Millennials are known for being headstrong and having firm views on their direction in life, but they still need to harness their ambition, refine ideas and focus on developing their strengths. l Work-life balance is compulsory: Whereas previous generations only hoped for a work-life balance, this

group want to control their own working hours and location. l An appetite to progress: If millennials do not see the chance to move up, they move on. Generally people do not start their careers with the job they want for the rest of their lives, but instead want to gain skills to eventually earn their dream job. l Job security is crucial: In an age where jobs could be outsourced or automated, millennials are anxious about their job and stability is key.

Understanding the generations 1946-1964

1965-1979

1980-1995

SOURCE: KPMG

GEN

GEN

X BABY BOOMERS: Born in the post-WW2 baby boom, Baby boomers enjoyed free student grants, low house prices and now hold the reins of power and have the most economic clout.

20 | DECEMBER 14 2018

GEN X: The generation also known as Gen Bust because their birth rate was vastly lower then the preceding Baby Boomers. Gen X are now becoming ‘helicopter parents’ of Gen Z.

1996-2010

Z MILLENNIALS: Also known as ‘Generation Y’, millennials have been shaped by the technology revolution that saw computers, tablets and the web become central to work and life.

GEN Z: The generation reaching adulthood in the early 21st century. They are also hailed as ‘the first tribe of true digital natives’ or ‘screenagers’.

FGinsight.com

MORE INFORMATION Visit FGinsight.com/ThisIsAgriculture

FGinsight.com

DECEMBER 14 2018 | 21


Start the conversations early to raise awareness of ag’s career opportunities

About #ThisIsAgriculture

Youngsters believe the rise of YouTube and conversation from the farmgate should be used to publicise career opportunities in the industry, while Leaf Education thinks incorporation in school subjects is the answer. Lauren Dean reports.

T

he number of agricultural students is on the up, but more needs to be done to break the stereotype of the traditional route into food and farming. Figures from a recent study by the Knowledge Academy suggest agriculture and related subjects was up 5.4 per cent in the last decade, from 17,680 students in 2007/8 to 18,630 last year – with students in veterinary science also up 50 per cent. The statistics make for a refreshing change, as many UK industries compete to recruit for their sector.

But there is more to food, farming and the countryside than an agricultural degree, mud and wellies, says Leaf director of education and public engagement Carl Edwards.

Conversation

And getting the conversation into school subjects earlier is a good place to start, says the former assistant head teacher. Over the last 12 months, Leaf Education has pulled together an educational consultation, looking at specifications in GCSEs and A-levels on how lessons

and key messages can be taught through the farm. A good example is business studies, he says. “It is about signposting,” says Mr Edwards. “So our aim is working to inspire the next generation about food, farming and the countryside. “Our argument is food and farming must be delivered in the classroom.” The scheme, a culmination of Farming and Countryside Education and Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf), is working alongside the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs on a future

National Careers Week A NEW video, which launches as part of National Careers Week, shows agriculture at the cutting edge of modern technology and at the forefront of innovations in key areas, such as IT, science, engineering, automation and design. The video is part of the #ThisIsAgriculture campaign, which is being led by Farmers Guardian and 21 key industry organisations to promote the diversity of career opportunities in the sector.

Contribution

FG editor Ben Briggs says: “With an economic contribution of more than £46 billion to the UK market alone, there is so much more to careers 24 | MARCH 8 2019

in agriculture than people realise. “It is a hugely technical and sophisticated sector, fuelled by global research and intelligence yet massively misunderstood by the mainstream public.

farmer programme, with the help of funding from Defra. It is linked with subjects such as personal, social, health and economic education and food technology to encourage young people to better understand how British food and farming can support other issues. “Part of the project is all about careers,” he says. “We ask the students to go and buy a meal deal and then we have about 50 different job cards around research and food and we get the students to link those job cards to the meal they have just bought.

Jobs

“We would like to invite those working in the agricultural industry to show their support by sharing the video link so we can raise awareness of the innovative and exciting careers our industry has to offer.”

countryside, with 32 per cent considering a career in the sector. But only 22 per cent say they have been taught the relevant information. The most frequent words which pop up among youngsters are long hours and hard work, Mr Edwards says, ‘but when we delved a little deeper into that, we found what they meant was it would be difficult, but worth it.’ It also helps focus on career opportunities, he says, with Leaf Education bringing in ideas such as caring for soils and becoming an agronomist, as well as working with animals and jobs in the food sector. Youngsters like the idea of caring for soils as they do not understand other, more complicated terminology. They want to see how they can empower teenagers to be better involved in the industry and the work they do. “They saw the science and technology link and said if they could understand how we care for things, for

example soils and crops, as well as animals, it would help,” says Mr Edwards. “They told us we needed a YouTube channel. They said there were not a lot of people their age who inspire them in food and farming.

Experience

“They want to see the reality of the job and see someone who has gone from having no experience in farming and watch them develop their knowledge. “They say to us ‘if you want to sell careers to us, you have to get us on to farms and let us speak to professionals’. “The question is do we need to change how we talk about careers in the industry to better engage with youngsters?” Leaf Education has worked with 353 trainee teachers on how to incorporate the farm as part of the lessons, helping highlight career opportunities in ag. A national campaign by the initiative is working with smaller groups of secondary

Farmers Guardian has joined forces with 21 key industry stakeholders from across the farming sector to promote careers in agriculture, collaborating with industry bodies and industry partners to see how and where we can work together to shape the political agenda, drive educational reform and provide learning resources. Articles will feature in Farmers Guardian to help agricultural businesses and farms understand recruitment and staff retention challenges and practical ideas they can adopt to mark the evolving changes which are happening in the careers, skills and training arena.

Next time: Self-motivated youngsters investigate skills and training development school students, all of high ability, to break away from the taboo that food and farming is only for those who are unable to do anything else. A partnership with North Wales landbased college Coleg Cambria Llysfasi, Vale of Clwyd, awarded 14 girls and one boy a weekend on a commercial dairy farm at the college campus for a weekend, who then had to argue for or against a hypothesis that farming was ‘so much more than mud and wellies’. Mr Edwards says: “Most of the students had little experience with food and

farming, but at least three of them have since applied to a land-based college. “This means Leaf Education has had a 20 per cent impact on them through that opportunity. We have got to provide these opportunities on a smaller scale for it to have an impact.” Starting the conversations early in the right environment using meaningful experiences could be the key to raising awareness of careers in agriculture. MORE INFORMATION Visit FGinsight.com/ThisIsAgriculture

“One of the best comments was from a student who said they did not realise about 40 jobs went into making a cheese sandwich. It is about opening their eyes to look at those different career options.” Another tactic Leaf Education uses is to ask students what skills they have and to match them to the job cards. Not only does it help determine which job their skills are suited to, it also opens their thinking to the type of career which is available in food and farming. It should boost knowledge of available courses at land-based colleges or apprenticeships. “We need that delivery of the sector and conversation with young people to offer those experiences.” Research by Leaf Education in 1,200, 12 to 18-year-olds, found 35 per cent are interested in food, farming and the FGinsight.com

FGinsight.com

MARCH 8 2019 | 25

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