Objective One brings new personal development training for Cornwall's farmers

A 3.5 million project to increase the skills of farmers and farm workers in Cornwall's agricultural industries has been launched by Duchy College.

The innovative project - funded through the Objective One Programme - will provide technical and development programmes for people working in all land-based industries.

Phil Le Grice from Duchy College said the scheme had been designed to deliver practical training in the most effective way for the sector.

He said: "Employers will be able to claim wage subsidies while their employees are on development programmes. Grants will also be available to contribute to the cost of employing relief workers while participants are attending training events.

"We will also be delivering the programmes at the most convenient locations we can find, including farms and other practical venues. It is intended that less than 10% of all the training will be done on college sites."

Dr Le Grice added: "This is a six year project and, over that time, we will provide training for more than 16,000 people and assist over 5,000 individual businesses."

He explained that the scheme would improve the skills base of people working across the whole sector, including agriculture, horticulture and forestry, and was designed to meet the needs identified by the Objective One Programme's agriculture task force.

He said: "The project will help farmers and other employers in the sector increase their own technical and management skills, as well as helping them to develop a more skilled workforce.

"The development of business management skills will help farm businesses to restructure, become more competitive and increase efficiency. We estimate that the training will be worth around 6 million in terms of safeguarding existing business and generating new sales."

Case studies will also be published demonstrating how local businesses have been assisted, including identifying the financial, management and environmental value of the training.

The project is being funded with the aid of a 1.3 million grant from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), over 1 million from the new agricultural ministry DEFRA and nearly 240,000 from the Further Education Funding Council.

Funding will also be used to purchase new IT equipment for providing industry training in information communications technology - which will be a major element of all training provided.


Editors notes:

Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel:01872 241379
Fax:01872 241388