Close-up of a field of wheat
Former student Shelly Whitfield stood in a field holding a lamb


Agriculture in the UK is big business - did you know that there's approximately 150,000 agriculture businesses in the UK alone, and that they employ over 150,000 people? With an agricultural apprenticeship and East Durham College, you could be part of this exciting and varied sector.

What Can I Expect as an Agricultural Apprentice?

Agriculture won't just have you working in a huge field - it's a huge field all by itself.

The agricultural industry includes livestock businesses which manage dairy cows, cattle for beef, sheep for wool and pigs/poultry/meat. It also includes the management and growth of crops, which can include business which grow wheat, oats, peas, oilseed rape, grass and a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables.

As an agricultural apprentice, you may find yourself working in many different jobs depending on your employer - if you love working outdoors, or working with animals, an agricultural apprenticeship is an excellent way to get experience and earn while you learn.

Agricultural Apprentice Levels and Job Opportunities

Generally agricultural apprentices are classed into what's known as a level. These are:

  • Intermediate Level (Level 2) - you may work as a farm worker, tractor driver, stock person, pig technician or hatchery staff under this level
  • Advanced Level (Level 3) - this level will generally require experience at level 2, or a level 3 qualification. At advanced level, you may work in more specialised roles such as a section head, agricultural machinery operator, assistant farm manager, livestock technician or shepherd

Although we do not offer a Level 4 (higher level) apprenticeship in agriculture at EDC, you could progress further in the field afterwards by taking a level 4 apprenticeship. Level 4 offers:

  • Higher Level (Level 4) - at this level, you will gain further skills and could work in areas such as agricultural business management, working as a unit manager, farm manager or assistant farm manager

Agricultural Courses at East Durham College

Although not always required for an apprenticeship, many employers are more likely to consider you for work if you already have previous qualifications in agriculture.

At East Durham College, we offer agriculture courses at our Houghall campus, situated in Durham. The Houghall Campus is dedicated to horticulture, agricultural and animal-based courses and you'll gain extensive experience of interacting with real agricultural environments during your course, including crops and working with live animals.

We currently offer the following agricultural courses at East Durham College:

  • City and Guilds Level 1 Diploma in Work-Based Agriculture
  • City and Guilds Level 1 Diploma In Work-Based, Land-Based Operations
  • City and Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Agriculture
  • City and Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-Based Agriculture (QCF)
  • City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Agriculture
  • College Certificate Tractor Operation and Basic Maintenance
  • NPTC Level 2 Award in Tractor Driving and Related Operations

Important Information About Agricultural Apprenticeships

During your apprenticeship, you'll complete a mixture of both practical and theory work set by your apprenticeship provider. This means you'll gain hands-on, practical work of working in and around your employer's premises, as well as completing written tasks during your apprenticeship. You may also be required to attend college for further training, depending on the apprenticeship taken.

As part of the apprenticeship you will be required to hold, or complete a functional skills test in Maths and English.

During the course you will be assessed by a professional from the provider of your apprenticeship. This professional will observe you during work, manage your theory work and will observe you if you are attending college. This helps to make sure you are progressing to the best of your abilities and ensures you are getting the most out of your apprenticeship.

Register your interest in an Apprenticeship

If you can’t find a current Apprenticeship vacancy below that you are interested in, please use the short form further down the page to register your interest with the EDC Apprenticeship Team and they will contact you as a vacancy becomes available in the area(s) you are interested in.

Apprenticeship Vacancies

Please check out the live Apprenticeship vacancies below that are currently being advertised with some great organisations we are working with.

If you haven’t used the Opens Government Apprentice site in a new window before you must create an account Opens Government site to register in a new window to apply. Creating an account allows you to:

  • apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • track your apprenticeship applications
  • receive alerts about new apprenticeships

To find out more information, please call the Apprenticeship Team on 0191 518 5508 or email

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Register your interest in an Apprenticeship

If you can’t find a current Apprenticeship vacancy you are interested in, please use the short form below to register your interest with the EDC Apprenticeship Team and they will contact you as a vacancy becomes available in the area you are interested in. Thank you.
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