Businesses in Cambridgshire Set To Benefit From Investment in Skills and Training

PUBLISHED: 13:38 03 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

BUSINESSES across the six counties of the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) are set to benefit from a £4.5 million investment in skills and training. A new partnership, called Land skills East, has

BUSINESSES across the six counties of the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk) are set to benefit from a £4.5 million investment in skills and training. A new partnership, called Land skills East, has been set up to provide rural businesses with improved access to skills and training opportunities in the region.

LandSkills East funded under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and managed by East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is an innovative and tailored approach to providing the skills that will be required by the region's land-based sector in the 21st Century.

The project brings a new focus to skills, enterprise and knowledge transfer with delivery partners across the region offering a range of vocational training for employees, alongside higher level training for managers and owners. Key features will be the technical and managerial skills that are required to improve products and leadership, as well as business efficiency, competitiveness, and development.

The programme has been designed specifically for the needs of business across the East of England. For example, as England's driest region, the six counties face significant challenges with water resources. As a response to this, the specialist components of the higher-level training on offer caters for the needs of future water resources management.

Additionally, LandSkills East will develop courses responding to the changing needs of the region, with the aim of enhancing long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Richard Ellis, chair of EEDA, said: "The importance of skills and training cannot be overestimated, especially in the current economic climate. Investment in skills, along with maintaining a focus on the region's key economic sectors of research and development and innovation, will help ensure the East of England is best-placed to capitalise on the upturn when it comes. This is one of the key reasons why EEDA asked the skills providers across the region to consider how best to work together to deliver exactly what the sector requires."

INFO: LandSkills East visit www.LandSkillsEast.co.uk

or contact Michael Mack, Norfolk Rural Business Advisory Service (NRBAS) at Easton College on 01603 731285 or mmack@easton.co.uk

Fact File

* More than 40,000 of the region's workforce are employed in the rural sector the sector contributes to £1,263m (1.3 per cent) Gross Value Added (GVA) (Cambridge Econometrics 2007)

* Around 16,000 businesses or organisations operate wholly or principally in the land-based sector

* The market for regional food has grown by 25 per cent in 3 years (Defra 2007)

* Many reports show those who embrace new skills on technical subjects and cost efficiency makes a significant impact on their businesses

* More than 75 per cent of the land in East Anglia is used for farming.

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