Agricultural and land-based industries

Agricultural and land-based industries play a key role in the national and global economies.

In the UK alone, the sector is worth more than £8.9 billion per year, and employs over a million people and 500,000 volunteers. It’s a profitable sector, but that’s only part of it – this industry improves 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 per cent of the food we eat in the UK is produced in the UK?

Agricultural and land-based 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 floristry, 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.

The apprenticeships in this section cover 16 different disciplines, from environmental conservation to veterinary nursing. New for this year is the Golf Greenkeeper apprenticeship, opening up opportunities in a career that will keep the nation’s greens and fairways in tip-top condition. 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 the people in the workforce run their own business.

At a glance

  • 96% 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


  • 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 problem-solving
  • Have a good knowledge of biology
  • Be able to use machinery safely

Useful contacts

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

Agricultural and land-based industries

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An apprenticeship in Agriculture offers a huge range of opportunities for working on livestock or arable farms. Agriculture includes the

The Agriculture Higher Apprenticeship provides the skills, knowledge and competence required to become a unit or assistant farm manager. The

An apprenticeship in Animal Care is perfect for anyone wishing to work with animals. Many consider work in the animal

If you have a genuine interest in working with animals and their welfare, as well as an interest in scientific

An apprenticeship in Environmental Conservation covers roles that deal with the protection of rural and urban landscapes, plants and animals,

The Equine apprenticeship is suitable for anyone looking to work with horses. The equine industry is one of the most

The Fencing apprenticeship deals with the construction and repair of fences. Fences can be simple or incredibly hi-tech, serving a

This Advanced Level Farriery apprenticeship is the only route in Great Britain to become qualified as a registered farrier. Farriery,

Florists use creativity and knowledge of plants and flowers to design and assemble floral displays. These can be sold to

The Fish Husbandry and Fisheries Management apprenticeship deals with the day-to-day care of fish in a wide range of habitats and

Golf greenkeepers are responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course. It is their job to

Game and wildlife management is about looking after areas managed for shooting, actively managing wildlife habitats and making sure that

The Horticulture apprenticeship covers both amenity and production horticulture, which in turn covers a vast range of horticulture occupations, and

The Land-based Engineering apprenticeship deals with the maintenance and repair of a range of mechanised equipment used in agriculture, horticulture, forestry

On a land-based service engineering apprenticeship, you could find yourself working in the agricultural, horticultural, forestry equipment or fixed plant

The Nursing Assistants in a Veterinary Environment apprenticeship deals with the daily care of animals within a veterinary environment. Although

On a Sports Turf Operative apprenticeship, you will be responsible for the maintenance, renovation and overall appearance of one or

The Trees and Timber apprenticeship covers the main occupations within the trees and timber industry. This industry includes the establishment,

The Advanced Level Veterinary Nursing apprenticeship covers a range of skills and duties that support a veterinary surgeon. Registered veterinary