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Free agri-tech training courses to tackle farming and woodland management skills shortages launched in the South West

Joe Bevan
Originally authored by: Train4Tomorrow Published by: Joe Bevan
Posted: Monday, December 20, 2021 - 13:52

In January, Duchy College in Cornwall and Bicton College in Devon are running an 8-week Agri-Tech woodland management course to teach the technical skills needed in modern woodland management and farming.

The course is delivered through the Train4Tomorrow programme, a government-funded initiative supporting adults in the South West to develop the in-demand technology skills required by industry through free training. 

The course reflects how technology, and its role in supporting a more sustainable future, is becoming increasingly important across the agriculture and woodland management sectors.

Students over the age of 19 can take part to learn about woodland establishment, maintenance and management, timber harvesting and Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) including carbon management, carbon foot printing and achieving farm Net Zero. There are no set entry requirements to take part, and the course is completely free. During the course learners will also plant and care for trees and learn chainsaw management skills. 

As well as Woodland Management, Train4Tomorrow are working with Bridgwater & Taunton College to offer an Agritech Machinery & Tractor Technology course. The course is open to adults looking to retrain and gain practical skills and knowledge in agricultural technology. During the 8-week course, learners will be immersed in the mechanisation aspects of running a farm, and will learn about the future of Agriculture and the innovative technologies and alternative fuels available now and in the future. 

Simone Tyrie, Employment and Skills Project Coordinator at Train4Tomorrow said: “The Train4Tomorrow programme offers adults in the South West access to free and flexible training programmes with little or no experience required. The Agri-Tech Technical Skills Bootcamps being held in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset have been developed with local employers in response to regional skills gaps and help to support people into secure and well-paid employment. As well as being free, the courses which run for an intensive 8 weeks, mean people juggling employment, and or caring responsibilities can gain skills really quickly, and start putting them into practice as soon as they complete the course.”

​​These, and other Train4Tomorrow bootcamps, are funded through the National Skills Fund. They include a range of digital and technical Skills Bootcamps that have been designed to help local people advance or pivot their skills into growing sectors resilient to the current economic downturn. 

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