Workers in the agriculture sector from across Lancashire are learning new skills thanks to an innovative new initiative led by Myerscough College.
A new Farmer Network incorporates a number of opportunities, including tackling climate change, roadshows and workshops, and a major investment in the very latest tractors, showcasing the latest technology on offer.
The network is helping to share the opportunities presented by the investment of half a million pounds from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) Pilot, being managed by The Lancashire Colleges, and this agriculture project being run by Myerscough, with the aim of keeping the sector up to date as the agricultural landscape changes and evolves.
The Myerscough Ag Net Zero Challenge is also bringing together the farming community with events and sharing of knowledge and has recently staged a number of Carbon Farm Roadshows focusing on reducing carbon emissions, safety and technology with more planned in the near future.
Andrea Gardner, Head of Agricultural Projects at Myerscough College, said: “The farming community in Lancashire has responded with real enthusiasm and energy to the opportunities presented by this project. They’re already sharing ideas about how this new technology can be used, the benefits to their own businesses and how they work.
“We are creating a network which can collaborate to help themselves and their communities for the short and longer term and contribute valuable jobs to the economy of Lancashire.”
The £8.4m Lancashire upskilling project aims to meet the needs of the zero-low carbon economy of the future through a pilot programme delivered by the county’s colleges.
The 12 further education and sixth form colleges are working with employers of all sizes across diverse projects covering agriculture, construction, energy, advanced manufacturing, digital and automotive to create a skilled workforce for a future low-zero carbon economy.
TLC was chosen by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver the Strategic Development Fund Pilot, exploring how education providers can work together more effectively alongside employers and other partners to respond to local skills and innovation priorities as well as tackling the zero-low carbon agenda.
The trailblazing pilot is one of the biggest of its kind in England, part of the Government’s Skills Accelerator Programme which also sees the North and Western Chamber of Commerce and the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce leading the Local Skills Improvement Plan to create a joined-up skills strategy that will help the county become a leading region for zero-low carbon technologies.
The funding will allow Lancashire’s colleges to implement and test new collaborative ways of working with each other to develop new curriculum, establish specialist skills demonstrator centres across the county and to deliver the skills local businesses need.
It will enable the colleges to develop industry-standard training facilities and expertise, helping to deliver a skills programme to prepare businesses to make the most of the opportunities that low-zero carbon emissions targets will bring.