19 January 2000
Rural workers must learn new skills

By FWi staff

RURAL workers are being urged to learn a wide range of new skills if they are to face the employment challenges of the coming years.

The Lantra National Training Organisation, which represents the training needs of people working the land, made the recommendation in a new report.

Up to 40,000 unskilled land-based jobs could go in the next five years, the report claims. But a predicted rise in skilled jobs could more than offset the loss.

The 80-page document outlines a survey of 7400 businesses – including 3000 farms – which suggests employers want staff that are better trained.

It estimates that 45% if farmers believe basic IT skills will soon be essential.

Richard Winterton, Lantras development director, said: “There is a distinct trend towards workers needing higher skill levels.”

But he conceded that the image of farming had been damaged in recent years and that conservation had a more glamorous image to many young people.

Lantra will meet with industry bosses at Stoneleigh next month to discuss how skills training in the land-based industries can be improved.

The need for those remaining and for those coming into farming to learn new ranges of skills as the industry diversifies was of more pressing concern, it believes.

Under farm minister Nick Browns 1.6bn deal for rural development announced last month, 22m is available over the next six years for training.

NEED ADVICE ON TRAINING OR CAREERS?

Contact Lantra – the National Training Organisation for the land-based sector – from this site.

Lantra provides details on training courses, careers, Modern Apprenticeships, National Traineeships, national and Scottish Vocational Qualifications.Click here for the Training and Information Services Helpline