We live in a rapidly changing world. Current and increasing food and water shortages, concerns about food security and distribution, public health, and the drive for environmental sustainability are all raising the proﬁle and importance of the land based industries. The UK, however, is lagging behind many of our competitors in terms of our workforce training and skills. Many in our workforce have received only basic levels of training, with little ongoing professional development, and in some sectors the links between employers and education providers are not strong. This impacts greatly on our performance and reputation across the whole sector. There is a pressing need to improve workforce skills and our industry’s overall quality and productivity. We are asking ever more of our land based industries, while the challenges they face are growing.
The National Land Based College (NLBC) has been established as a virtual college to address these challenges, combining strong links to specialist colleges and universities, while being employer-driven. NLBC will develop collaborations and partnerships across the sector, and maximise the use of learning technologies and blended learning to aid skills development.
A Development Board was created to initiate the set-up of NLBC. This included recruiting and appointing a CEO, establishing our operational structure and financial plans, and applying for Registered Charity status. This Board was chaired by Lord Donald Curry of Kirkharle and consisted of directors from both land based colleges and land based industries: