PLANTING THE SEEDS OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY

For Immediate Release England’s land-based and environmental businesses must cultivate world-class skills in order to thrive and fully support the nation’s supply of food, fuel and water, according to new research, published today (6 April) by Lantra Sector Skills Council. The land-based and environmental sector touches all our lives wherever we live. The sector feeds our nation and is indispensable for our current and future economic prosperity. Land-based and environmental businesses safeguard England’s natural environment and natural heritage and are in the front line in the drive for food security, sustainable development, renewable energy, adapting to climate change, reducing greenhouse gases, growing the rural economy and supporting healthy active living through our parks and green spaces. Lantra’s Skills Assessment analyses current and future skills needs, shows how job roles are changing, identifies the new skills that will be required, and examines major shifts in employment. This report identifies that English businesses must recruit almost 194,000 new entrants to land-based and environmental jobs at all levels over the next decade just to maintain current workforce levels. In addition to these new entrants, the estimated 158,660 English businesses and 905,500 people employees must develop their skills through continual professional development (CPD) in order to meet future challenges. Madge Moore, Lantra’s England Director, said: “Within England, the Coalition Government is striving to recover the economy with sustainable growth, building the ‘Big Society’. Skills development through training and CPD will support this initiative. The Skills Assessment is an essential tool that will help policy makers and researchers who are developing evidence-based policy about land-based skills.” This research recognises global issues that have a major impact on the sector and employment. These include global climate change, enhancing environmental protection, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and the increased demand for food, energy and water. Much of the land-based and environmental sector will be affected by these issues so it is important that they have the skills to compete at the international levels. As Caroline Spellman MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stated in June 2010 ; ‘Farming and food contribute around £86 billion to our economy –[the sector is] an absolutely indispensible part of the green economy we are putting at the heart of our economic recovery.’ Businesses and employees will need skills to operate on this global level, ensuring that they adapt to industry’s technological advancements. Peter Martin, Lantra’s Chief Executive said, “The headline conclusions of the 2010 Skills Assessment support the key messages from previous research studies –the rapid changes in the sector driven by global issues, the urgent need to recruit new entrants of all ages, the need to update professional skills through CPD and keep up with any technological developments.” Madge continued, “Our research shows that there will be opportunities for individuals from all educational backgrounds and with different skills levels. There will be a broad range of job opportunities over the next decade in the land-based and environmental industries. It is the perfect opportunity to get a new career doing something that you will enjoy and which will support the health and welfare of us all.” Lantra’s full report is available to download at www.lantra.co.uk/skills-assessment. Follow Lantra on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC. ENDS ISSUED BY: Lantra Press Office Contact: Samuel Zelmer-Jackson, PR Co-ordinator Tel: 02476 858 418 or email media@lantra.co.uk CREDIT FOR PHOTO: Almost 194,000 new entrants will be needed in England’s land-based industries over the next decade EDITORS NOTES: About Lantra • Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. • Lantra represents 17 industries: agricultural livestock and crops; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; environmental conservation; equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land-based engineering; horticulture, landscaping and sports turf; production horticulture; trees and timber and veterinary activities. • By working together with the sector, Lantra leads research on skills issues and business needs, sets national standards and develops qualifications to meet modern business needs and help businesses grow through skills. • For more information see www.lantra.co.uk.

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