Suffolk Agricultural Association column: Suffolk Show showcases careers and education in food and farming
PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 March 2014
The Suffolk Show is showcasing careers and education for the future of food and farming in a pioneering first.
Learning skills is one thing, but turning them into careers that will benefit the agricultural and related industries is much needed. Reports that more than 60,000 new entrants will be required in the next decade across all sectors in food and farming means pressure to find and train those people.
The Association in its strategic review identified its key role in education and is already taking this a stage further by encouraging many areas of the Show to promote careers; among them is the Farm Discovery Zone, the Sports Village, Military Zone, Flower and Garden Experience as well as the Adnams Food and Drink Experience. “Here they can come and meet with the people involved in these industries, find out what’s involved, and then talk to the educational colleges about the courses that may be relevant to them,” said executive director Christopher Bushby.
The Suffolk Skills area of the Show, which has showcased the talents and skills of students from all the local colleges of further education for prospective employees, will be rebranded as the Skills Careers Zone. Backed by Easton and Otley College, Suffolk New College and West Suffolk College this area, with demonstrations including carpentry, bricklaying, hair and beauty, cookery and car mechanics, will be a forum for students, trainers and employers providing a one stop shop and the place to talk about all aspects of employment in horticulture and agriculture – whether direct or in the servicing areas relevant to them.
“We hope that by introducing the new special price of £5 for 15-18 year olds and making entry free for 14s and under, more young people will be encouraged to attend the Show and find out how many jobs of all types are linked to food and farming,” he said.