There is a vast range of qualifications on offer from basic introductory courses up to degree level with many being run at your local college.
Always check that qualifications are recognised by a professional body so that you know it meets the standards required by the industry you are going into (especially if you are paying a private college or training organisation).
If you are thinking of setting up your own business or diversifying into a new sector you can find short courses at your local college, trade association or through your local regional tourism board. These can include running a B&B, first aid, book-keeping, customer service, countryside management, tree felling, etc. Basic skills courses to improve your English or maths are usually free.
Agriculture related qualifications available at your local college include:
NVQ levels 1 to 3 These teach work-based skills and you can study them whilst working.
First and National Diplomas/Certificates in countryside management, horticulture, leisure, etc. These are usually studied full-time and provide work experience. Generally suitable for 16-19 year olds
GNVQs / AVCEs in business, tourism, leisure. Full or part-time work-related college courses
Higher National Certificate and Diplomas (HNCs and HNDs) in a range of subjects. HNCs are usually part-time whilst the HND is full-time.
Modern Apprenticeships and National Traineeships allow you to work for an employer and study at college. Generally suitable for 16-19 year olds
Degrees in a wide range of subjects equip you for management jobs, research and consultancy. Many full-time and part-time degrees are offered, and Open University courses can be studied from home.
Many organisations also provide training:
Lantra - the lead training organisation for land-based industries www.lantra.co.uk - accredits courses in the land-based industries
BAGMA - British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association www.bagma.com/ accredits courses. Their website has details of courses on offer
Hotel and Catering Management Association validates many catering, hospitality, leisure and tourism courses www.hcima.co.uk
Many trade associations run short courses
The regional tourist boards host one day courses and training sessions such as 'Welcome Host' - a one-day training programme which concentrates on improving customer care skills. They also offer information and tips on running and improving your business www.tourismtrade.org.uk/
For more information on agriculture careers, use our Careers Information web pages at http://www.wiltshire.ac.uk/careers/