- Not enough people find land-based work aspirational. The benefits of working in common good land use are not coming across to the general public.
- The work can be difficult, and working conditions can be unstable.
- Pathways to livelihoods and opportunities in the land-based sector can be unclear.
- Despite widespread public support, training programmes for common good land use struggle to secure sufficient fees or funding.
- Delivering land-based training is difficult, requires a wide range of skills in itself, and can struggle to raise enough income to be sustainable.
A lot of land-based social enterprises are delivering high quality training. This helps address deficits in land-based skills, and often also helps fulfills their social and environmental missions.
What needs to change:
- Local and national government should support land-based social enterprises to deliver training aimed at supporting new entrants or addressing their other strategic objectives. This might mean:
- Financial rewards for land managers who support and train new entrants
- Commissioning social enterprises to train public sector staff or to deliver services such as supported employment
- Land-based sectors and professions could also be big beneficiaries, and supporters, of training from land-based social enterprises, for example through Continuing Professional Development
- Move towards creating coherent training and employment pathways through partnerships within and between the land-based sectors.
- Make land-based careers aspirational by highlighting the innovation, entrepreneurialism and social and environmental benefits involved.
Further resources and projects:
- National Land-Based College – an organisation set up to coordinate land-based training
- OrganicLea – run a wide range of accredited and other courses – see their website for more information
- Kindling Trust FarmStart – a great example of supporting new entrants to commercial farming
- Bright Crop – set up to highlight interesting and exciting opportunities in farming and food supply
Scroll down to the posts below to read the latest updates on our work in this policy area.
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We recently submitted a response to Defra’s inquiry into workforce shortages in agriculture. The inquiry recognised that the labour market for the UK land-based sector is in crisis, one only exacerbated by Brexit. We argued that land-based social enterprises can play a role in training the next generation of land workers. Read our response here.
This report addresses the opportunity of having land-based social enterprises deliver, host and facilitate training schemes as a core part of their business model.
Good, accessible and comprehensive training is crucial to the land-based sector, where many different skills are needed. We think land-based social enterprises are extremely well placed to deliver these activities. Accordingly, we think there is a lot of scope for expanding the training they offer and the income they can generate from it. This report outlines the current training being offered in the land-based sector, and identifies barriers to developing this capacity, and possible solutions. [Read the full report here]
This report addresses the skills deficit in the land-based sector, and how access to suitable training and clear career pathways could help to alleviate this deficit.
Making land work requires many skills. Accordingly, access to good, comprehensive training schemes is crucial to developing a land-based sector that works for everyone. This report provides an overview of the skills needed to work in or lead a land-based social enterprise, how people commonly go about gaining and developing those skills, and the problems and solutions that emerge from this. [Read the full report here]