Growing Kent & Medway Workforce 2030 Strategy

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Local Skills Improvement Plan
by Lucy Druesne

With increasingly innovative and high-tech businesses, the horticultural and food sector needs to ensure that its future workforce has the right skills and training available. Businesses also need to be able to attract and retain the staff they need. This strategy outlines key recommendations and objectives to ensure the industry has the workforce it needs to continue to thrive and adapt to market pressures in the future.

Following consultation with industry and further education providers, Locate in Kent and Growing Kent & Medway have produced a new strategy to help address the skills challenges facing the land-based, horticulture, viticulture and food and drink sector. Workforce 2030 sets out practical recommendations and objectives to up-skill and attract the right talent to the sector.

The Workforce 2030 strategy addresses 6 main issues facing the sector;

  1. Recruitment and retention of labour
  2. Improving current curriculum and qualification pathways
  3. Creating new sector-specific engineering qualifications and training
  4. Bespoke leadership and management training programmes for the industry
  5. Supporting innovation in areas like automation, sustainability and quality
  6. Improving communication and engagement between employers, education and individuals

It has been developed through a process of research and consultation with companies in the landbased and food sector, universities, Further Education colleges and other key stakeholders.

The strategy and recommended actions recognise that collaboration between industry and further education is critical to help highlight the exciting career pathways available. Dialogue between providers and businesses is also needed to develop appropriate training and educational qualifications and apprenticeship programmes to upskill the workforce of tomorrow. Particularly around engineering skills for the rising use of automation and new technologies in the sector.

The report has been produced by Locate in Kent and compliments and feeds into the Local Skills Improvement Plan, developed by Kent Invicta Chamber, and the Kent and Medway Workforce Skills Evidence Base Action Plan.

For further information please visit the Growing Kent & Medway skills page.