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Avoiding the land-based skills shortage

Lantra highlights the need for 600k new recruits by 2020 to avoid skills shortage crisis in the land-based and environmental sector.

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The Baroness Young of Old Scone hosted an event on Thursday which saw the launch of an updated report on the future skills and employment needs of the land-based and environmental industries. The key findings from the report identified significant employee and skills shortages in the UK over the next decade.

The land-based and environmental industries currently employ approximately 1.3 million people in 230,000 businesses across the UK. An ageing workforce and growth in some industries means increased employment opportunities across the sector, some 595,000 forecast between now and 2020. There is also an increasing need to attract more young people into jobs and careers within land-based and environmental industries. To support this employers want more from the curriculum in terms of relevant subject matter and focus on the skills needed by the industry, with the promotion of the right qualifications, training and career paths to young people and adults.

The report also highlights the need to recognise the professionalism and skills of the sector’s workforce, as well as promoting and capturing continued professional development. This supports key national strategies which raise this, including the UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies, Defra Future of Farming Review and the implementation of the Farming Regulation Taskforce recommendations.

Lantra’s Chair Valerie Owen said of the report: “Lantra’s work helps to both define and support the land-based and environmental industries – both strategically and at a grass roots level. Without essential government funding, it is ever more important that employers continue to work in partnership with Lantra to ensure the business and training needs of the sector can be met. This report outlines key issues for such businesses nationally, and how we plan to support employers tackling these challenges through training and qualifications, skills recording tools and information portals.”

Lantra’s work aligns with many of the industry needs: setting standards for professional and occupational competence, providing support and advice, and providing a breadth of products and services including training, qualifications and skills recording tools. Without essential government funding, it’s ever more important that small businesses (accounting for 95% of the sector) continue to work in partnership with Lantra to ensure consistency and cohesion across the industries.

Lantra also commissions and produces key research and information on future skills and development requirements for the industry as a whole. Examples of this work include:

• Developing training and qualifications through the Lantra Awards brand which continues to grow its’ network of providers and instructors throughout the UK. Our aim is to up-skill 70,000 individuals each year

• Enhancements to Lantra Coursefinder; a search tool that forms part of a new Business Centre website that will guide businesses to the training, qualifications and information they need. Our aim is to support 7,000 businesses each year

• A new Careers website which provides information on careers across land-based industries together with written and video case studies. We are engaging with some 10,000 followers through social media

• Developing Skills Recording Systems that enable individuals and businesses to record their skills or the skills of their workforces.

The Skills Assessment Summary Update is was launched on Thursday 3rd April 2014 at the House of Lords by The Baroness Young of Old Scone and Lantra Chair Valerie Owen OBE.


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