Successful applicants completed a highly competitive video application process to become one of the final 13 delegates, competing with other talented and passionate individuals from across the Great British potato supply chain.
One delegate, Alastair Neil left his job in the printing business three years ago, and is now a trainee agronomist for Produce Solutions.
Mr Neill said: "I applied for two years running and am delighted to be one of seven ambitious repeat applicants to finally land a place on the programme this year.
"I was attracted to the potato industry because it’s fast-paced and ever-changing.
"I’m looking forward to widening my general understanding of this industry, appreciating its challenges and gaining valuable contacts I can call upon in the future.
"The exposure to the industry that the Next Generation Programme will provide me will be invaluable. It’s an experience that would be tricky to replicate in my normal working environment.”
One of last year’s delegates returned to speak to the group about what the programme can offer to them.
Simon Lever, commercial manager at Fylde Fresh and Fabulous potato and chip suppliers, Lancashire, said ’the programme puts you out there’.
He said: "It gives you the opportunity to network but also to build your own skills up.
"And the more you put into this process, the more value you’ll get in return too.”
In total the group will complete nine comprehensive industry visits over the year, covering a range of industry sectors across multiple regions and with varying focuses to the days.