How to become a farming union policy manager: Jenny's story

Meet Jenny from Fife, Scotland. She's 23 and works as a farming union policy manager. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"The best part of my job is talking to farmers and hearing their different stories."

  • Jenny grew up on a farm in Scotland. For her Highers she studied History, which led her into politics. She also studied Geography and Biology, which built on her knowledge of the land and livestock
  • She studied for a BA in History and Politics at university and during her studies worked part-time at a farm/holiday park
  • She now works as a policy manager for the National Farmers Union Scotland, supporting farmers who are members of the organisation
  • She believes there’s a lot of pressure on students to figure out their career paths very early in life, but knowing what you want to do takes trial and error.

A similar role to Jenny's is a trade union official. They represent, train and advise union members, carry out research and develop policy.

What to expect if you want to be a trade union official

  • Trade union official - salary: £50,00 to £80,000 per year
  • Trade union official - working hours: 33 to 35 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a trade union official?

  • Entry requirements: You can get into this job through a university course, applying directly, or training with a professional body. You may be able to join a national head office as a research officer straight from university, if you've got a relevant degree or postgraduate qualification. Common subjects include Social Science, Politics, Economics or Law. You’ll usually need two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree or a a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study.
    Relevant paid or voluntary experience could give you a head start when you apply for work. Relevant experience could include advice work, student or local politics, mediation and negotiation jobs, and campaigning.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about working for a trade union.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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