Occupational Studies ‘Agriculture’ units have been developed in line with the recognised skills gaps for the land-based disciplines, supported by CCEA and Lantra.
At the recent launch of the Occupational Studies ‘Agriculture Units’ at Greenmount College, Liz Pridgeon, Lantra’s Development Manager for Standards and Qualifications provided an overview of Lantra’s role within standards and qualifications. “There is a need to improve entry routes to the sector, to influence qualification development and to promote the sector as a positive career choice. This qualification will appeal to learners who are better suited to develop their skills in a more practical and occupationally orientated environment” explained Liz.
Agriculture units to be offered include Animal Care, Estate Maintenance, Safe Tractor Operation, Horse Handling and Exercise and Environmental Improvement. The qualification has been designed to provide a more ‘hands on’ approach to learning and is accessible to a wide range of learners, of all abilities. It is also intended to provide a coherent and flexible programme, which is rooted in both practical and occupational contexts.
Liz also commented: “There are lots of career opportunities in the sector; however, it is imperative that work is undertaken with providers so that young people can see these qualifications as career routes. All the courses offer progression opportunities in relation to courses at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) as well as the option of studying for a degree.”
Geared towards pupils at Key Stage 4, the Occupational Studies Agriculture units will have a vocational and employability focus; enable progression to other courses, particularly NVQ and to training and employment; help raise levels of achievement through applying knowledge to practical work related situation and contexts and emphasis learning by doing. Delivered directly by schools and colleges, the Occupational Studies Agriculture units have the provision of support from CAFRE in terms of teacher training, delivery assistance, campus visits and online support for staff and pupils, with the first awarding of Double and Single Award being in the summer of 2009.
Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based industries represents the interests of over 230,000 businesses and 1.5 million workers and volunteers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lantra is an employer-led organisation, which is licensed by the UK government to drive forward the skills, training and business development agenda for the 17 industries in the sector. The industries represented are agricultural crops, agricultural livestock, animal care, animal technology, aquaculture, environmental conservation, equine, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, floristry, game and wildlife management, land-based engineering, landscaping, production horticulture, trees and timber and veterinary nursing.
Lantra’s aim is to enhance productivity and competitiveness in the sector by increasing the level of skilled, competent workers in employment and improving access to skills advice and support.
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