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'Young people need to be supported to look at farming as a career' says MP

September 18, 2012 1:32 PM

TF ruralCumbrian MP Tim Farron has called on the Government to do more to help young people into the farming industry.

According to Government figures, the farm workforce rose by 10,000 people between 2010 and 2011. Tim thinks more could be done however and has called on the Government to give extra support to the agriculture sector to help them take on apprentices on farms and in rural businesses.

Tim wants to make 2012 the 'year of the apprentice' in Cumbria. So far over 3,200 people have started an apprenticeship since August last year. This adds to the 5,280 who were on an apprenticeship in 2010/2011, representing an increase of 58% on the previous year. In Westmorland & Lonsdale the apprenticeship figures have risen by 96%.

Tim's intervention echoes the recent call made by NFU President Peter Kendall at a round table meeting with the Prime Minister, where he stressed the need for 'new blood' to enter the farming industry.

Commenting Tim said: "Farming and agriculture needs to be supported and by helping them to take on apprentices we really can support the next generation to look at farming as a real career. I think DEFRA can do much more to help young people get a well paid job and train at the same time - I will do all I can to push them to look at apprenticeship schemes for rural businesses."