Agricultural and land-based industries

The agricultural, land-based and environmental industries play a key role in both the national and global economies. In the UK alone, the sector is worth more than £8.9 billion per year, and employs more than a million people and 500,000 volunteers. It’s a profitable sector, but that’s only part of it—this industry improves the quality of life here in the UK by supplying us with food, producing crops, enriching the rural and urban environment, and protecting our natural heritage. Did you know that 60% of the food we eat in the UK is produced in the UK

Agricultural, land-based and environmental industries can be broken down into three major categories: land management and production, animal health and welfare, and environmental industries. It’s not just about muddy wellies, unsocial working hours and manual labour, either. There are a wide variety of jobs in the sector, and while many of them are practical, requiring physical effort and work outdoors, there are also opportunities for people to work as skilled technicians, managers and other specialist roles.

People you will find in the field include general farm workers, gardeners, fencing contractors, tree surgeons and gamekeepers. There are also creative occupations available, such as forestry, as well as caring jobs that include working for animal welfare charities, as a veterinary nurse, or at a kennels or cattery. In addition, there are more technical roles on offer, such as land-based engineering, and many management opportunities.

All of the apprenticeships in this sector offer the chance to develop skills in practical, technical and specialised areas with opportunities for career progression. And if you’ve always wanted to be your own boss, then this could be a good place to start—today, more than half of the people in the workforce run their own business.


  • Enjoy working outside
  • Be physically fit and strong
  • Work without supervision
  • Care about the environment
  • Understand and care for animals
  • Be practical and good at solving problems
  • Have a good knowledge of biology
  • Be able to use machinery safely

At a glance

  • 97% of agricultural businesses employ fewer than 10 people
  • 60% of the food we eat in the UK is produced in the UK
  • 1.1 million people and 500,000 volunteers work in land-based and environmental industries

(Industry figures taken from

Useful contacts

Lantra—Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries

Agricultural and land-based industries

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