Agriculture: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st February 2018.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Conservative, East Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how his Department is promoting land-based colleges in rural areas; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Minister of State (Education)

The Area Review programme enabled government to work closely with independent further education (FE) institutions, and as part of this the department worked closely with Landex to ensure that proper account was taken of the significance of land-based colleges and that sufficient provision could be consistently delivered across the country.

The government wants to make sure that the agricultural sector has the right skills. The department is reforming technical education, which will include the introduction of a ‘T Level’ route in agriculture, environment and animal care.

The competition to establish prestigious new Institutes of Technology will specialise in technical disciplines, including sectors that are important to rural areas, such as agri-tech and food manufacturing.

Apprenticeship standards already exist in land-based service engineering, and there are a number of further standards in development - including crop technician, farrier, poultry technician and stockperson.

FE colleges are of particular interest to MPs, and the FE Commissioner runs a weekly ‘telephone surgery’ for MPs. They run every Wednesday, while the House is sitting, from 9.00 - 10.30am. MPs should email FE.Commissioner@education.gov.uk to book a slot.

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