Crop Technician (Organic Crop Production) Apprenticeship

Level 3

As a Crop Technician, you will be responsible for optimising crop/plant yields through establishment, management, harvest and post-harvest operations while maintaining and improving the surrounding environment. You will also need to keep up with technological advances and innovations. Being a Crop Technician requires self-motivation and the ability to work independently and as a team player to complete tasks safely and efficiently.

What apprentices will learn

  • Prepare seed bed/growing medium for maximum growth potential
  • Carry out relevant establishment of crops for effiicient growth
  • Maintaining and operating machinery
  • Preparing growing mediums for maximum yield
  • Controlling pests, weeds, and diseases
  • Principles of planth growth and development and plant health
  • Environmental issues/legislation, codes of practice
  • Carry out plant nutrient application e.g composted farm yard manure
  • Irrigation taks to aid growth of grop 
  • Harvesting techniques
  • Harvesting operations inlcuding assessment of timing and quality
  • Relationship between environment conditions, plant protection methods and crop growth
  • Keeping accurate records
  • Health, safety and security
  • Input costs, costs of production, margins and impact on business profitability
  • Marketing to customers

Delivery Model

Monthly block of four days (Monday - Thursday) practical training at Plumpton College during Autumn. Winter and Spring with workplace observations and online theory workshops during the Summer month. 

Assessment Breakdown

The apprenticeship is assessed in an End Point Assessment which includes:

  • Knowledge test
  • Practical test
  • Professional discussion

Qualifications Gained

  • Apprenticeship Certificate (Crop Technician Level 3: Soil based system)
  • Level 3 Emergency First Aid 
  • Level 2 Award in Safe Use of Pesticides (PA1)
  • PA2 (Boom Sprayer) OR PA6 (Hand Held Applicators)
  • Level 2 in Maths and English (if applicable)

Course details

Dates & Location

Starting April 2023

Duration

Typical length of programme 18-24 months (length of programme variable based on performance of apprentice and need for external end point assessment by Lantra 

Entry Requirements

Employer/Workplace Requirement

  • Market garden of minimum 5 acres / 2 hectares 
  • Minimum machinery requirement: small powered machines, tractor powered machinery
  • Garden does not have to be organically certified

Candidate Requirement

There are no previous qualifications required to start this apprenticeship, but apprentices must have the attitude and ability to develop the required skills and knowledge during the apprenticeship

  • Pre enrolment maths and English assessment
  • Pre enrolment job role suitability assessment

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme, you need to be employed with a contract of employment for a minimum duration of the length of the apprenticeshp.  If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Business Team on 01273 892127 or business@plumpton.ac.uk.

Facilities

  • Apprentices will have practical workshops at Plumpton College, with access to the college's commercial farm consisting of 2000 acres in the most beautiful setting of the South Downs.
  • Teaching staff are passionate about sustainable and local food systems and have been growing vegetables organically and biodynamically for 20 years. With the Apprenticeship Programme Manager previouslythe farm director and garden manager at Old Plawhatch farm in Sussex. 
  • Apprentices receive discounts on accredited qualifications offered by LandPro Training

Future Opportunities

Future Opportunities

  • Employment/ self-employed - a grower in a fruit and vegetable growing enterprise
  • Farm or Garden Manager
  • Academic degree: Horticulture Management or similar

Modules

Organic Crop Production modules

  • Health and safety
  • Record keeping
  • Maintain and operate machinery
  • Crop establishment and management
  • Harvesting operations
  • Storage
  • Communication
  • Finance: cost of production, margins and profitability
  • Soil and plant science
  • Soil cultivation
  • Personal and professional development

Ready to take the next step?

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