College and Minister unite to promote science within farming

Apprenticeships ambassador Nicola Currie, Life Sciences Minister George Freeman and Easton and Otley

Apprenticeships ambassador Nicola Currie, Life Sciences Minister George Freeman and Easton and Otley College principal David Henley. - Credit: Archant

A land college has joined forces with the Government’s Life Sciences Minister to look at ways of encouraging more people to consider careers in land-based industries.

Representatives from Easton and Otley College met with George Freeman MP, who is responsible for the Government’s agri-tech strategy, to discuss this and other issues during a recent visit.

The MP met with college principal David Henley and former director of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) East, Nicola Currie, who now works for the college in an ambassadorial role promoting apprenticeships.

“I was very impressed by the work that is taking place at the college and their ambitions for the future,” said Mr Freeman. I’m thrilled that they are backing this campaign. The college is rightly viewed as being absolutely crucial to the creation of new skills for the industries that they represent and is perfectly positioned to help this region become a global and food production powerhouse.”

Mr Henley said: “Some of the science, technology and innovation that is happening right now in farming (via GPS technology) and many of the other industries that we support is akin to some of the technology that is happening in space travel.

“We want to encourage some of the brightest minds to get involved in the industries that we represent and courses that we teach. I’d been looking forward to meeting Mr Freeman for some time. His brief (in relation to science technology and innovation) has direct relevance to what we are trying to do as we try and draw some of the most talented minds into the industries that we serve.”

Mr Freeman toured the college campus and spoke about plans to create more higher education courses and an ongoing campaign to support apprenticeship qualifications.

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Mrs Currie said: “I have worked with George on several key issues for this region’s economy and he has real energy and is a person who gets things done. We had a useful discussion on the need to offer more apprenticeship opportunities to young people. All in all, his knowledge of agri-tech skills makes his support for the college particularly valuable as the college reviews its offer for the fast changing needs of the farming and food sectors.”