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Adapting for a dynamic future

A three-year project has already helped hundreds of Cornish farmers and farm workers to learn new skills and take part in specialist training.

The Skills For Dynamic Agriculture Project was launched in October 2000 as a way of helping those working within the agricultural industry to adapt and improve the way they work.

Through a range of Modern Apprenticeship courses, bespoke training and events to promote the use of IT, the Objective One project was designed to provide individuals with improved technical, management and business skills so that Cornwall's agricultural industry could adapt to meet the challenges of the future.

The £1.8 million project still has another four months to run but has already proved extremely successful and helped members of the industry from across Cornwall to upgrade and expand their skills.

Skills For Dynamic Agriculture has been run by the Learning and Skills Council Devon & Cornwall with training being delivered by Duchy College.

As at the end of March, the project had provided more than 350 people with NVQ level training through the Modern Apprenticeships scheme and provided nearly 200 places on bespoke training courses – ranging from dairy management to business management for women.

Project leader Cathie Helgesen, who is based in Truro, said: "This project is all about adaptation – adapting the skills of the agricultural workforce so that the industry can continue to diversify successfully, improve technically and raise the quality of both the way that it works and its produce."

Chris Shepherd, Operations Manager at Duchy College said: "A key feature of the project has also been the ability to be flexible with training activities tailored to meet the needs of the individual."

The £1.8 million project has been made possible with the help of almost £800,000 in investment from the European Social Fund – provided through Objective One. Further investment was provided by the Learning and Skills Council Devon and Cornwall and local businesses.

David Rodda, senior agricultural co-ordinator for the Objective One Agricultural Development Team, said: "Agriculture is a key sector of the Cornish economy but it needs to adapt if it is to meet the challenges of the future and thrive.

"One of the most effective ways of bringing this adaptation about is to invest in the people who depend on the industry for their living. Projects like this are enabling us to develop a workforce that has the range of high quality skills needed by the modern agricultural industry."


Editor's notes:

European Social Fund (ESF)
The ESF is helping develop employment by promoting employability, the business spirit and equal opportunities and investing in human resources.

For further information contact:
Cathie Helgesen
Project Manager
Learning and Skills Council Devon & Cornwall
01752 754182


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

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