More than 9,000 businesses and organisations are being consulted as part of a major initiative by Scottish colleges to understand how the delivery of land-based education and training may need to change to meet growing industry demand.
Land-based education and training up to Higher National Diploma level are currently delivered in Scotland through 18 regional colleges and national provider Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
SRUC and the regional colleges are working together through the Land-based Providers Group to develop a national strategy for land-based education on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council.
As part of the strategy’s development, a survey has been sent to 9,500 land-based businesses and organisations within 11 industry sectors.
Independent research commissioned in 2011 forecasted 3,000 new jobs would be created in the sector each year up to 2020.
SRUC’s assistant principal of further education David James is directing the new strategy’s development.
He said: “These jobs will be created in every region of Scotland across a wide range of industries, from agriculture to veterinary nursing.
We believe demand will continue to grow beyond 2020.
“Most new posts are likely to be filled by newly-qualified people from land-based college courses and training, so it is important 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.”