close-up of two friesian cows in a field at East Durham College's Houghall Campus

Apprenticeship in Agriculture

Interested in farming, or working on the land? An agriculture apprenticeship will help you to learn a wide variety of farming-related skills and you'll also earn while you learn!

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

East Durham College's Agricultural Centre at the Houghall Campus

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 horticular, 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

Please click here for more information about our range of agricultural courses >>

If you're not sure whether an apprenticeship or an agricultural course is the best route for you, please give us a call directly on 0191 518 8294 or 0191 518 5587 and our apprenticeship team will help to find the best solution for you.

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.

Applying for an Agricultural Apprenticeship

Interested in working in agriculture? To get started, you can:

If there are no current vacancies, we highly recommend you register your interest in future vacancies with the college. Doing so makes sure we can contact you straight away if new opportunities are available and helps us to find the best possible apprenticeship for you.

If you would like to contact the college about registering your interest for an apprenticeship, please call us directly 0191 584 8294 or 0191 518 5587 or you can email us:

Register Your Interest in an Apprenticeship

Are you interested in learning more about apprenticeships, or getting in touch with the team to find the latest apprenticeship vacancies?

Click the link below to be taken to our web form where you can fill in all of your details, and our apprenticeship team will get in touch with you!

Click here to fill in the web form >>

Apprenticeships - Register Your Interest