New skills institute will help farmers and growers adapt to change

Following Defra’s commitment of support today (30.11.20) for the new Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH) , the Chair of the Institute’s Development Board has said it will support farmers and growers in making their businesses viable and sustainable for the future.

Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan – which it describes as a ‘roadmap’ to change – commits to contributing towards the establishment of TIAH as the home of professional development and training for the agriculture and horticulture industry in England.

Supporting the industry

TIAH Development Board Chair David Fursdon said: 

“Launching Defra’s Agricultural Transition Plan today, Farming Minister George Eustice MP described the ‘significant change’ that will take place in agriculture and horticulture over the next 7 years and emphasised that Defra’s plans are ‘a way to do things differently’.

“Farmers and growers will have to make their businesses profitable and sustainable for the future while addressing the environmental concerns of Net Zero and the recovery of landscapes and nature. At all levels of the industry, success will require a workforce with the right skills, so business owners and their employees will need to enhance their existing skills and acquire new ones.

“TIAH will help support and transform the industry so that it is universally capable of creating profit and protecting the planet by training, retaining and attracting a workforce fit for the future. It will collaborate with all areas of industry to ensure a joined-up approach to promoting training and CPD.”

Strong support

The development and testing of the TIAH concept have been driven over the past two years
by the Agri-Hort Skills Leadership Group (SLG), a voluntary, cross-industry initiative. The SLG comprised a group of volunteers from across industry, chaired by Helen Woolley, former Director General of CLA, and led by Lord Curry of Kirkharle CBE. Its activities have been supported by financial and in-kind contributions from AHDB and NFU. The new TIAH Development Board replaces the SLG.

Government funding for TIAH will allow the Development Board, working with all parts of the industry, to take the transformative Institute’s development into its next phase, with an anticipated launch next year.