Land-based industry education hub launched by NLBC

Land-based industries like farming, forestry, agriculture and horticulture maintain around 75 per cent of our land in the UK, to tackle ever increasing demands for education in a changing and increasingly demanding sector The National Land Based College (NLBC) launched an education hub tailored to the industry.

With courses at specialist colleges, industry experts, practical training and a partnership with awarding body, City and Guilds, NLBC aims to set industry-approved standards of excellence. Qualifications range from foundation-level courses up to full degrees, as well as a variety of continuing professional development (CPD) options. From agriculture and game-keeping to equine studies and landscaping, the NLBC says it provides blended learning from a small central team to land-based colleges and industry workplaces.

George Eustice speaking at the NLBC launch

Leigh Morris, CEO of NLBC said: “Our goal is to equip those in the industry with the skills they need to flourish. Working for the first time at a coordinated national level we can build a pool of resources from the very best minds in education and industry.”

“Our food and farming industry generates over £100 billion for our economy, employing one in eight people. We’re very ambitious for the agricultural sector’s future and want to see it become a leading career destination for high-flying students, entrepreneurs and new entrants,” said George Eustice, Minister for Farming, Food and Marine Environment.

Organisations such as Bright Glow and Glow Careers are working with NLBC to promote land-based careers as well as attract students to the sector, as well as providing an online portal that can link to land-based orgs as well as a CPD register for graduates.

“To attract the best talent and unlock our economic potential, we need to have nationally and internationally recognised standards of achievement, to offer clear paths for career progression and equip young people to compete for the exciting opportunities that exist. The establishment of NLBC is a huge step towards realising these ambitions,” said Lord Donald Curry, chair of the NLBC’s board of directors. 

NLBC’s board of is made up of 21 directors, ten principals from UK land based colleges and universities, ten from industry leaders, and Lord Curry. It’s a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Seed funding’s been provided by Landex member colleges, Landex, and City and Guilds who contributed £250,000 from their National Proficiency Test Council fund. NLBC will receive a percentage payment for all City and Guilds land based qualifications endorsed by the college.

Kirsty Donnelly from City and Guilds, said: “This collaboration allows us to show our true commitment to future success of the UK land based sector. We want to support the professionalisation of the industry and raise its profile as an attractive sector to build a career. We’re focusing on developing professional and technical progression pathways that are truly responsive to the current and future skills needs of the industry. Through this partnership we want to create a world-class land based sector.”

Top photo, from left to right: Landex CEO Chris Moody, NLBC CEO Leigh Morris, Minister for Farming, Food and Marine Environment George Eustice, City & Guilds managing director Kirstie Donnelly and Lord Donald Curry.