General Farm Worker

Level 2 Apprenticeship

A General Farm Worker apprentice will support the general operation of farm enterprises through maintaining a culture of health and safety, biosecurity, engaging with third parties, maintaining crop, animal handling and health, maintenance and cleanliness of machinery.

A General Farm Worker will typically be required to drive farm vehicles and must hold the appropriate license. The individual will work alongside the supervisor, supporting daily operations for the farm enterprises including identifying and maintaining animal or plant health performance, conducting routine tasks and assisting with general record keeping practices. The individual will manage the storage of forage and crop, minimising waste and disposing of necessary waste appropriately. Animal welfare and risk awareness and prevention are integral to this occupation.

This Apprenticeship Standard takes a core and options approach. All apprentices will complete the core units and depending on their workplace duties will complete either of the following two pathways:

  • Livestock Worker
  • Crop Worker. 

What all apprentices will learn (core elements)

  • To undertake “safe and effective” activities as instructed and actively record daily activity. For example, cleaning machinery, monitoring and recording livestock (livestock checks)
  • Operate within strict bio-security practices. For example, implementing visitor policy
  • Maintain a satisfactory environment for the animals such as ensuring clean bedding, water and shelter
  • Operate agricultural vehicles relevant to the business safely, legally and in line with current legislation
  • Recognise environmental risk and carry out operations to minimise environmental impact, such as avoiding pollution of soil, air and water courses. Check and maintain field boundaries
  • Prepare and maintain crop/forage storage as instructed. Including monitoring pests and vermin in crop or bulk bins and temperature monitoring
  • Monitor and maintain farm infrastructure, machinery and non-production areas as instructed. For example, checking oil in farm machinery, maintaining fences, general building maintenance
  • Implement effective storage and disposal of waste in accordance with regulation; such as chemicals, sharps, organic and non-organic waste

What a livestock pathway apprentice will learn

  • Carry out routine health and welfare checks on livestock and report on health and production performance when this is abnormal. This includes administration of routine treatments, under supervision and engaging with third parties such as vets
  • Monitor and select grass for either grazing or forage production - recognising and reporting on the growth, health and maintenance of a chosen grassland sward.
  • Feed Animals as per instruction and ensuring fresh water is always accessible
  • Monitor animals prior to, during and post parturition, assisting with associated husbandry tasks
  • Perform relevant stock breeding related tasks under instruction; selection of animals, identification of signs of heat, assisting with service duties

What a crop worker pathway apprentice will learn

  • Perform crop and or forage operations as per instruction. For example, combining, plate meter reading
  • Recognise and record (verbally and written) the growth and health of crops
  • Assist with preparation and planting of field scale crops
  • Safely load, unload and transport harvested crops in accordance with legislation and codes of practice
  • Recognise good and poor quality in growing, harvested and stored crops


  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Award in Emergency First Aid at Work
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides
  • Level 1 in maths and/or English Functional Skills (if applicable)

Delivery Model

Regular learning, skills and knowledge assessment and research work at Plumpton College alongside blended online learning. Attendance at college one day a fortnight (term time only) with quarterly workplace competency and efficiency observation, assessments and reviews.

Course details

Dates & Location

Next cohort enrolment in August/September 2023 with commencement of in college delivery from September 2023


Typically 15 months (some apprentices could complete sooner depending on their previous experience and qualifications, their perfomance during the apprenticeship and the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace)


Costs to the employer will be dependent on several factors such as age of apprentice and size (number of employees) of the business. Please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 for more information.

Entry Requirements

Prior to enrolment potential apprentices will be required to complete;

  • Maths and English assessment
  • Existing skills, knowledge and behaviour assessment

To enrol onto an apprenticeship programme you need to be employed with a contract of employment. If you have an employer lined up or are already employed please contact our Business Services team on 01273 892127 or via email.

You must be in a role that will allow you the opportunity to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours set out in the apprenticeship. Additionally, apprentices must have a working level of maths and English that will allow successful achievement of level 1 functional skill prior to the end point assessment.

If you do not currently have an employer please visit the main Apprenticeships page for guidance on how to find and apply for an apprenticeship opportunity or register for our Talent Bank service.

If you are an employer and would like to recruit or enrol an existing employee onto an apprenticeship please contact our Business Services team on  01273 892127 or via email.


Apprentices will have practical workshops at the college's Lamberts farm consisting of 2000 acres in the most beautiful setting of the South Downs with 300 dairy cow herd, large pig herd and extensive sheep flock and pedigree Sussex beef herd. Access to the latest technology available in the agriculture sector alongside teaching and farm staff that have many years' industrial experience and excellent relationships within the local farming community.

Apprentices receive a discount on our LandPro Training suite of qualifications and assessments e.g. LANTRA Tractor Driving

Future Opportunities

On completion of this apprenticeship the opportunity to progress in the workplace and take on more responsibility and/or continue with your skills and knowledge development and progress onto a higher level apprenticeship:

Other courses that may interest you

Ready to take the next step?