Well done Esther!

Esther Harvey from Higham, Kent and farm apprentice at A C Goatham & Son has been awarded Sainsbury’s ‘Agriculture and Horticulture Apprentice of the year, 2015’.

Esther says: “I am absolutely delighted to be named Sainsbury’s Agriculture and Horticulture Apprentice of the year 2015, it was a real surprise when they called out my name. I am really enjoying combining work and learning as every day is different and it is very hands on. I like to be outside and I feel this role is helping me to learn a real variety of skills, which will be essential for my future career in the industry. Working in the horticultural sector is really interesting and I would recommend anyone who is looking for a job to consider it.”

Nigel Stewart, Technical Director at A C Goatham & Son comments: “We are thrilled for Esther on her much deserved award win. Both of our farm apprentices have worked really hard over the last year, but Esther in particular has stood out for her endless enthusiasm and willingness to learn. A farm apprenticeship is a great way into the farming and horticultural industry and modern operations need young people with a range of skills to fulfil the many thousands of roles across the industry.”

The whole farming industry in the UK needs 60,000 new employees by 2020, just to replace the number of retiring farmers in the UK.  With food and farming contributing around £100bn to the whole UK economy, more young people should be considering a career in farming. For other employers and employees interested, there is more information online at http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/suppliers/sainsburys-horticulture-and-agriculture-apprenticeship-scheme/

Nigel Stewart continues: “Apple and pear growing in Kent is an increasing sector thanks to investment by growers like ourselves and new technology and there are many full time and seasonal roles to suit people with a range of skills. We need to encourage as many young people as possible to consider it for their future career to fulfil staffing needs in the sector in the future.”

Mike Dodd, Training Manager for Staffline Agriculture, who deliver the qualification Esther is working towards, in conjunction with Sainsbury’s, comments: “I am extremely pleased for Esther. She has shown great commitment throughout the programme and is a credit to her employer. I am looking forward to seeing Esther progress on to Level 3 of the scheme and furthering her career in the top fruit industry through the apprenticeship route.”