New Strategy for Scottish Land-based Education & Training

SRUC is leading a consultation by Scottish colleges of over 9000 businesses and organisations to understand how the delivery of land-based education and training could change to meet industry demand.

Land-based education and training up to HND level are currently delivered in Scotland through 18 regional colleges and national provider Scotland’s Rural College. SRUC and the regional colleges are working together through the Land-based Providers Group (LBPG) to develop a National Strategy for Land-based Education on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).


As part of the Strategy’s development a survey has been sent to 9,500 land-based businesses and organisations within 11 industry sectors. Consultations and focus groups with industry, learners and curriculum providers will take place during March and April. College and SFC data will also be examined to inform the strategy’s development.

Information gathered will be used to map out current and future employment trends and related curriculum requirements on a national and regional basis. The strategy will determine priorities and identify where any appropriate growth or changes to course delivery may be required.

David James, SRUC’s Assistant Principal Further Education, is directing the new strategy’s development. He said:
“The land-based sector is of major importance to the Scottish economy and has experienced growth in the last decade of 10,000-15,000 new jobs. There is substantial on-going demand for newly qualified people as older workers retire and we see moderate employment growth. Independent research commissioned in 2011 forecast that between now and 2020, 3,000 new jobs will be created in the sector each year.

“These jobs will be created in every region of Scotland across a wide range of industries, from agriculture to veterinary nursing. We believe that, beyond 2020, demand will continue to grow. The majority of the new posts are likely to be filled by newly qualified people from land-based college courses and training so it is important that the regional and national providers are co-ordinated and work closely with industry and funding bodies to ensure delivery is tailored to current and future needs.”

The draft strategy will be completed in June 2015. It is anticipated that any required curriculum changes will take effect from the 2016/17 academic year onwards.


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