Future Farmers II: A guide to running a farm-based agroecological traineeship

There are many benefits to taking on farm-based trainees and this document is aimed at farmers interested in doing so, with a step by step guide on things to consider and how to go about starting out.  It also contains a number of great case studies to inspire farmers and trainees alike. The guide has been developed by Groundspring Network, the Organic Growers Alliance and Sustain, building on Sustains previous Future Farmers publication which aimed to support urban growing traineeships.

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Report contents

Setting the scene

What is an informal traineeship?
            Definitions: apprenticeship versus traineeship
Benefits of traineeships
            Benefits for the farmer
            Benefits for the trainee
            Benefits for the food and farming sector
Existing programmes
Should traineeships be paid?
A trainee’s experience

Key considerations
Key considerations for hosts
What to look for in a trainee
Key considerations for trainees
What to look for in a host farm
Other considerations
            Employment Law
            Health and Safety
            Writing an agreement
            Trial period
The selection process
            Advertising the post
Making a traineeship syllabus
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Other learning methods
Next steps    
Useful links

            Advert content
            Sample interview questions
            Sample score sheet

Partner organisations


Case studies

Tamarisk Farm
Chagfood Community Market Garden CSA
School Farm CSA
Cae Tân CSA
Hindon Farm
Trill Farm Gardens


The Capital Growth campaign, run by Sustain's London Food Link offers practical and financial support to communities around London to help more people grow more food, and to have greater access to land and growing spaces for community benefit. The Capital Bee project, part of Capital Growth, seeks pledges to promote bee-friendly behaviour, and supports establishment of community beehives.


Other Capital Growth publications

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Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.