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Future of land-based education: Committee to raise concerns with Government

24 March 2021

Following a one-off evidence session on land-based education provision in England, MPs on the House of Commons EFRA Committee are to raise concerns about national delivery of education for agriculture and the environment.

In the session, the cross-party group of MPs were left with a clear impression of the need for continued land-based education provision at Newton Rigg in Cumbria, and of the wider issues faced by the sector.

The Committee heard how a recent decline in the number of land-based graduates, and the lack of incentives to upskill the existing agricultural workforce could have knock-on effects for delivering the Government’s ambitious targets to improve the environment and the supply of high-quality British food.

The Committee has asked the witnesses for further information. It will then be writing to the Government to press it on its national strategy for land-based skills, and how it will support local colleges to deliver it.

Chair's comments

Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Committee, said:

"The Government has ambitious targets to restore woodland and natural habits, and to deliver on its new Environmental Land Management scheme in farming. This will be impossible without highly skilled land managers and farmers and the institutions to train them. My Committee will be writing to the Government to seek answers to the issues raised today, not least the strong calls for a national strategy for land-based education raised by our witnesses today.”

Further information

Image: Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay