22 May 1998
Training push for land-based business

LANTRA, a new national training organisation for land-based and related industries, was launched at the Palace of Westminster yesterday (21 May).

Chairman Andy Stewart said at the launch: “Lantra will help individuals, businesses and organisations make the right decisions in building a workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in global markets of the 21st century.”

Lantra will promote the benefits of investing in training and education, encourage the provision of appropriate training and develop an economic model to help predict changes in the labour market and the industrys demand for skills, he added.

The organisation will represent a broad range of interests including agriculture, agricultural and garden machinery, environmental conservation, farriery, fencing, fish farming, fisheries management, floristry, gamekeeping, horticulture, lift-truck operations and tree production.

Welcoming the initiative, junior farm minister Lord Donoughue said: “… People working in the rural economy must possess the right skills and qualifications to maintain and improve the UKs competitive position … We need a professional strategic organisation to represent the land-based sector and to bring together the education, training and development skills needs of its employers and employees.”

Minister for lifelong learning Kim Howells said that before Lantra, a co-ordinated approach to education and training issues had been lacking. “Lantra is the biggest national training organisation. It encompasses 2.4m workers, owners and volunteers with a gross domestic product of £24bn in the most vital sector of all – without it we would all starve.”