A new partnership between The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH) and Growing Kent & Medway hopes to entice a new generation into a career in horticultural food and drink production.
As part of the collaboration, a regional hub is being developed within TIAH’s new online service for professional skills and careers. The hub will include local information about employers, job profiles, and specific career pathways in the Kent and Medway regions.
The partnership hopes to highlight the large variety of roles and careers available throughout the horticultural food and drink supply chain, including those that can help address climate change.
Dr. Nikki Harrison, Programme Director for Growing Kent & Medway, said: “Kent and Medway are at the forefront of sustainable food and drink production. Businesses are leading on innovative growing techniques in vertical farming, regenerative viticulture enterprises, through to cutting-edge technologies being used on innovative fruit farms. By putting a spotlight on the pioneering businesses operating in our region and highlighting sustainable career opportunities, we hope to inspire the next generation and bring fresh new talent into the sector.
“The horticultural sector offers a huge range of diverse and exciting career opportunities. However, we know there are skills gaps that need to be addressed to ensure it can continue to innovate and remain resilient in the future.”
The regional hub will include the latest information on career pathways, company profiles, and local training and educational opportunities specific to Kent and Medway.
Tess Howe, Head of Partnerships, said: “TIAH’s recent research shows a lack of coordination and collaboration is holding back our industry when attracting new entrants. Government has tasked TIAH with aligning regional and national initiatives so we are excited to be part of this collaboration with Growing Kent & Medway to support the region with their careers and skills development. We believe that through this partnership we will attract more people with the skills horticulture desperately needs, and inspire them with careers supported by effective training and personal development opportunities along the way.”
Nikki added: “There is a clear appetite from teachers and career advisors for help to connect young people with our industry and for information about the skills that employers are looking for. Our regional approach with the digital skills hub is a critical step in helping us to make those connections and will complement the work that others in the county are undertaking”.
The Growing Kent & Medway and TIAH regional skills hub is in development and available from https://tiah.org/kent-medway. Local businesses interested in being featured on the site should email email@example.com.
Growing Kent & Medway’s involvement with the partnership follows a consultation on the skills needs of the fresh produce sector with key stakeholders, delivered by Locate in Kent.