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New ‘bite-sized’ qualifications to boost agricultural industry

13 Oct 2021 | College

Hundreds of workers within the Agricultural and Food Manufacture sectors in the Yorkshire and Humber region are set to benefit from free ‘bite-sized’ courses to upskill and reskill, helping to get more people into higher wage and higher skilled jobs.

Funding has been secured through the In-Work Skills Pilot programme by Bishop Burton College and partner education providers, in a collaborative bid by the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology (YHIoT).

Over £300,000 of funding has been allocated to the YHIoT to deliver a series of short modular courses to help plug skills gaps in key sectors such as agriculture and food manufacture.

Bishop Burton College is part of the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology and will deliver the new ‘bite-sized’ courses which focus on the use of precision agriculture systems. The courses will give farming businesses and employees new skills and opportunities to engage with the latest technologies, to help improve productivity, reduce emissions and soil erosion.

Three new short courses will be rolled out by the College from late autumn this year, focusing on Agricultural Robotics, Agricultural Guidance Systems and Communication, and Agricultural Technology, Data Handling and Communications. Utilising Institute of Technology facilities and resources, which have been developed through a £1.7m investment from the Department of Education, businesses and employees will gain practical and theoretical learning opportunities to help achieve optimum farming results with the smallest environmental impact.

Bill Meredith, Principal and CEO at Bishop Burton College said;

“As a partner in the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology, Bishop Burton College is delighted to be part of this project. Being able to offer short, bite-sized courses which develop higher level skills and the adoption of forward-looking agricultural technologies, gives us the chance to provide tangible commercial benefit through training solutions that meet the needs of the local and regional employers.

“We are working closely with employers to develop course content that really meets their business needs, so we can deliver a model that is business-friendly and accessible, whilst tackling some of the major challenges being faced within the sector. Sustainable and regenerative farming solutions are a key focus for the sector. Being able to offer ‘bite-sized’ technical courses, is an important step in supporting the agricultural sector as a whole.”

The short courses will vary in length and delivery method, giving working adults flexibility in how and when they learn. They will be available to adults working within the agricultural sector in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Further progression opportunities are available at the college to develop higher level technical skills and knowledge in precision agriculture, through focused higher education study programmes at our University Centre, through the Institute of Technology.

Annabel Jelley, Head of Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology said;

“We are thrilled that the YHIoT has attracted funding to enable our partners to develop these vital courses. Bishop Burton College’s expertise in precision agriculture is critical to innovate high level skills provision in the land-based sector. Businesses tell us they need short courses in technical skills and this is exactly what this pilot will achieve.”

Bishop Burton College is a specialist land-based education provider, located near Beverley. The College delivers a broad range of college and degree level specialist, technical education through hands-on courses ranging from Agriculture, Equine and Animal Management, through to Sport, Public Services, Fashion, Engineering and Construction. The College is ranked within the top 5% of colleges nationally for its Level 3 provision (DfE), as well as being rated Ofsted ‘outstanding’ for the care and support given to its students.

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