Land-based Engineering (England)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR02417
Issue number: 4
Issued: 13 October 2013

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Land-based Engineering (England)
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Issued by

Contact name: Julie Murphy
Telephone number: 02476 419703
Please download the framework for email contact information.


Defining Apprenticeships

An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme under an Apprenticeship Agreement designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.

All apprentices commencing their Apprenticeship must have an Apprenticeship Agreement between the employer and the apprentice. This can be used to reinforce the understanding of the requirements of the Apprenticeship.

On completion of the Apprenticeship the apprentice must be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the industry.

Summary of the purpose of the framework

Land-based engineering is a broad and highly specialised industry working with a vast array of machines. Employees are expected to work on a wide range of specialist vehicles and machines used in agriculture, forestry, horticulture, groundcare and fixed plant. An important role for employees is keeping equipment in good working order through planned maintenance, as well as carrying out any diagnostic and repair work when required.

The land-based engineering industry comprises of the following areas:

  • Agricultural machinery - including tractors, harvest, cultivation and crop protection machinery
  • Groundcare machinery - including garden, sports turf and local grounds maintenance machinery
  • Forestry/arboriculture machinery - including chainsaws and chippers
  • Fixed machinery - including grain/crop processing and milking equipment
  • Power Equipment - including Honda power equipment - ride on, pedestrian and robotic mowers, the brush cutting range, generators, water pumps, snow blowers, power carriers and small industrial engines.

Often when qualified, workers are called upon by businesses to repair machines which may involve them working alone in the field, this requires good knowledge of health and safety legislation and working alone policies which learners will gain through the Apprenticeship in Land-based Engineering.

Small and medium sized businesses dominate the land-based and environmental sector with 80% of the land-based engineering businesses employing fewer than ten people, which emphasises the need for the workforce to be highly skilled. The Apprenticeship offers businesses the opportunity to ensure that all their staff have the required skills and knowledge to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  

Research carried out by Lantra in 2010 revealed that the land-based engineering industry in England represents 1% of the businesses (1,660) within the land-based and environmental sector and 1% of the employment with 8,500 employees (total for the sector is 905,500). However, land-based engineering is a valuable industry as it provides support for several other industries within the land-based and environmental sector. The technology used within these industries and others evolve continuously, therefore it is imperative that qualifications are kept up-to-date, reflect the wide diversity of equipment and machinery used within the land-based and environmental sector and are reflective of industry needs. The research also showed that the industry has an ageing workforce with 56% of the employees aged 40 or over. Therefore, the Apprenticeship entry and progression opportunities aim to encourage young learners into the land-based engineering industry by offering development opportunities to ensure the future of the skills and knowledge within the industry.  

The land-based engineering industry suggests that there are skills gaps in specialist technical knowledge, computer literacy, customer care and basic technical skills. The Apprenticeship has taken this on board with the revised framework including these skills within the Diploma in Work-based Land-based Engineering and other areas of the Apprenticeship. 

The land-based engineering industry values the Apprenticeship as an entry route into the sector as it offers apprentices the opportunity to learn the skills by completing hands-on work experience supported by underpinning knowledge. The industry support for the Apprenticeship is evidenced by the consistent level of completions in England over the last three years as indicated below::


  • Level 2 – 140
  • Level 3 – 70
  • Total – 210


  • Level 2 – 150
  • Level 3 – 100
  • Total – 250


  • Level 2 – 110
  • Level 3 – 90
  • Total – 200

During the review of this Apprenticeship, Lantra involved the land-based engineering industry and virtual groups which account for individuals and trade associations such as: British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA), Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE), Agriculture Engineering Association (AEA), John Deere, AGCO, CLAAS UK, JCB, CNH, Honda and a number of independent businesses/dealers. By involving trade associations and independent businesses we ensure that the Apprenticeship framework is reflective of the current and future needs of the industry.

This important entry route into the industry has been raised by employers which highlights the need to prioritise and increase the awareness and uptake of Land-based Engineering Apprenticeships.

The land-based engineering framework at both Levels 2 and 3 reflect the job roles within the industries and allows apprentices to take units in agricultural, forestry/arboriculture, groundcare or fixed plant and storage depending on the business they are working in. The types of jobs available include:

  • Job roles at Level 2 may include: sports and groundcare technician or service technician.
  • Job roles at Level 3 may include: demonstrator, independent technician or workshop supervisor. 

Further information on the land-based engineering industry can be found at:

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Land-based Engineering (England)
(PDF document 2.78 MB)