Livestock Unit Technician

Level 3 Apprenticeship

The Livestock Unit Technician apprenticeship has been designed to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours to allow an employee to operationally manage the livestock related tasks on a farm such as animal health and welfare from conception and birth through to the customer; and to support business productivity.

The individual will make key decisions on a day-to-day basis to ensure the protection of their own and health and safety of others. This includes ensuring the standards of cross compliance, farm assurance, biosecurity and infrastructure security are met. The Livestock Unit Technician will usually only work with one species. The role will include the safe use and maintenance of farm vehicles, including the equipment used for transporting or producing feed. The individual will be required to understand, record and meet the business Key Performance Indicators that are set out by the employer.

What all apprentices will learn

  • Health and Safety processes and practices relevant to livestock management
  • The digestive process of commonly farmed livestock 
  • The legal and operational aspects of livestock record keeping
  • Breeding and production cycles for commonly farmed livestock
  • The different types of technology and systems used in livestock production and how to use the most appropriate e.g robotic milking, EID tagging, GPS tracking
  • legislation applicable to working with farm equipment
  • How to prepare and implement health and welfare plans and schedules, identifying priorities, resources required and critical activities to achieve desired KPI’s
  • Plan, implement, monitor and review health and safety of self, others and livestock; including risk assessments and biosecurity policy.
  • How to establish current health status of stock, to prepare livestock health & welfare plan
  • The different types of grasses, forage crops and bought in feed used to support livestock nutrition and how to assess and manage them for optimum performance
  • Implement breeding plan, monitor and manage the physical condition and check that selected stock are in the correct condition for breeding.
  • Welfare requirements of livestock in accommodation at different stages of production cycle and how they can be achieved, including management of manure
  • The market factors such as price, supply chain requirements, new legislation and relevant industry welfare codes, and the impact these have on the business
  • Prepare, maintain and operate farm vehicles, and attachments, in different environmental and ground conditions
  • Select and prepare livestock for sale or transfer in accordance with health and safety requirements
  • Manage, monitor and evaluate the financial viability of delivered diets, using relevant resources
  • Maintain, analyse and utilize production records (both written and digital) to improve productivity and aid compliance
  • the importance and practice of safely and effectively selecting and preparing livestock for sale or transfer
  • the five welfare needs of animals
  • Impact of farm working practices on social, economic and environmental sustainability, including a basic understanding of how to contribute to government-led sustainability targets


  • Apprenticeship Certificate
  • Level 2 in Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides Guidance
  • Level 2 in Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines
  • Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work

Delivery Model

Regular learning, skills and knowledge assessment and research work at Plumpton College alongside blended online learning. Attendance at college on a fortnightly basis (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 October 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) practical period with 3-month End Point Assessment window.


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 of the apprenticeship. Additionally, you must have a working level of maths and English that will allow successful achievement of level 2 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 Plumpton’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 will receive a discount on our LandPro Training suite of qualifications and assessments e.g. LANTRA Tractor Driving

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