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Future skills for Rural Businesses

The project will scope, plan and prioritise the future rural skills, training and business support needs and will strategically tackle the conundrum of shortages in high and low skills and in careers pipelines.

The project will undertake a comprehensive skills evaluation to formulate recommendations for targeting future skills delivery across the SELEP geography setting out priorities for the main rural sectors below and will strategically tackle the conundrum of shortages in high and low skills and in careers pipelines:

  • Agriculture
  • Food and drink -production and manufacture
  • Horticulture production – vegetable crops, fruit and viticulture

For each covering the four key themes:

  • Level 3+ technical skills
  • Business improvement techniques and business support, including knowledge transfer
  • Skills pipeline and facilitation for new entrants
  • Business and environment sustainability

Recommendations will focus on partnership working leading to the development of plans to raise productivity, growth and opportunities in rural areas. New innovations require new ideas and talent and supportive business networks.

Primary delivery locations

  • Plumpton College, Lewes, East Sussex
  • Hadlow College, Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent
  • Writtle University College, Chelmsford, Essex
  • East Malling Research, East Malling, Kent

All of the components of this work will enhance and improve efficiency of the specific rural businesses. It will improve food production and ensure better use of the resources and efficient use non-renewables.

This will lead to more production hence increased focus on food processing technology. With Brexit looming, pressures on supply chains, adverse weather and high input (energy) prices it is vital that land based businesses raise their productivity.

Sector Support Fund

The Sector Support Fund (SSF) was established to support one-off, discrete pieces of work of a pan-LEP nature with a sector focus that bring demonstrable benefit and which have support across the LEP area.

The SSF used Growing Places Fund (GPF) Revenue grant to fund a programme of works which supported the sector focussed activities being undertaken on a pan-LEP basis and which were predominantly led by the SELEP working groups.

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