Countryside Matters 2014 - page 16-17

Countryside
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Countryside
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Wehavestrengths–butwemustbuildonthem faster
Asanation,wecansometimestalkourselvesdown.Higher-levelskillsarealready
morewidespreadintheUK’sworkforcethaninmanyofourcompetitors.Werank
6th intheOrganisationforEconomicCo-operationandDevelopment(OECD)for
theproportionofadultsstudyingtoatleasttertiarylevel,whichshowedasteady
improvementfromacomparablerankingof12th in2007. (Theorganisationwas
established topromotepolicies thatwill improve theeconomicandsocialwell-
beingofpeoplearoundtheworld.)
The challenge is that this success does not always map onto immediate
and future business needs particularly well. Businesses are now demanding
greater involvement withuniversities and for technical and practical learning.
But alternative pathways, based on partnerships between businesses and
institutions, are relatively underdeveloped and under-used. Also, theworld is
changingarounduswithmanyemergingmarketeconomies, including Indiaand
Brazil,showinghugestate-backed investments inhighereducationparticipation
levels inrecentyears.
Sowewillhavetoworkhardjusttomaintainourrecordto-date.Wealsoknowthat
skillsshortagesarealreadybecomingacute forcertainsectors,withemployers
becoming increasingly worried about filling vital gaps in the future. Meeting
theUK’s forecasteddemand for engineers to2017will require recruitment of
thosewithgraduate-level skillsto increase from 12,000to31,000annually,with
similarlypressingdemandforthoseabletofillkeytechnicalroles. Thishas ledto
somefirmsfinding that theirgrowthcomesat thecostofhiring fromessential
partners, asfirmschase the same scarce skills. 80per cent of employersare
confidentaboutmeeting theirneeds for lowskilledworkers in the future,while
lessthan50percentaresimilarlyconfidentregardinghighlyskilledworkers.
In terms of partnership provision, higher apprenticeships are becomingmore
popular – although they still make up less than 2 per cent of apprenticeship
startsoverall. What’smore, in2011/12,newundergraduatesoutnumberedthose
beginninghigher apprenticeshipsbya factor of 350. Regardingflexibility, the
number of students taking part-time higher education courses has dropped
catastrophically,with105,000fewerpart-timestudentsreportedbyHEFCEsince
theblock-funding2012reforms.
Potential students are clearly reviewing their optionswith amore critical eye
andwithaview towherestrongemploymentoutcomes lie. Whiledemand for
arts,humanitiesandsocialsciencescoursesfellby14percent,physicalsciences
heldupthebestofallsubjectgroupsanddemandforprofessionalandbusiness
degreesremainedstrong. RecentCBIsurveyshaveshownanincreasinginterest
amongst businesses inworkingmore closelywithuniversities and colleges to
deliver more flexible, learn-while-you-earn options, ranging from sandwich
courses and better part-time options through to higher apprenticeships and
courseco-design.
There are good examples across the country of businesses, universities and
collegesworking together toprovide innovative routes tohigher skills, suchas
advancedapprenticeshipsandwork-based learningprogrammes. Forexample,
the Rolls-Royce A-Level entry programme is designed to develop the next
generationofmanufacturing specialists and leads toaMaster’sdegreeat the
UniversityofWarwick.Alongsidepart-timeuniversitystudy,studentsundertake
aseriesofmentoredplacementsacrossthebusiness.HowevertheCBIstill feels
therearesignificantbarriers limitinggreatermomentumforalloftheseroutes.
GROWING PEOPLE
GROWING PEOPLE
‘Businessesarenow
demandinggreater
involvementwith
universitiesand for technical
andpractical learning.’
curriculum vitae
TomHoulden
Age24
ForestryTeam,ClintonDevonEstates
Aboutme
Havinggainedmydiploma inCountrysideManagementatBictonCollege inEastDevon, Iappliedforoneof
thefirstapprenticeshipswiththeForestryCommission. IwassecondedtoClintonDevonEstates,underthe
mentorshipofJohnWilding, theHeadofForestryandEnvironment.Aspartofthetwoyearapprenticeship,
IattendedBictonCollegetwiceamonthforspecialistforestrytrainingtosupportmy learning“inthefield”.
Iwastaken-onfull timebyClintonDevonEstates inJanuary2010asaClintonWoodsman.
I’mpartofafour-strongforestryteamandourwork involvesmaintainingandestablishingtheEstates’ timber
plantations.Aswellasplantingandthinningtreeswemaintainthegates, fencesandfootpathsandwork
closelywithcontractors. Forexample,contractorsfromKentarebrought intofell the largetreesand,because
theyaren’tfamiliarwiththesteephillsideplantations inDevon,weareabletoadvisethemonaccessandsafety
measuresbecauseofourdetailed localknowledge.
Doingthis jobandbeingabletoworkoutside inthispartofthecountry issomething Ireallyenjoy. Igrewup in
EastBudleighandalwaysthought I’dgoandwork inacity,but I’mreallypleasedtohavethis jobandthis life.
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curriculum vitae
JamesBoddington
Age20
TraineeLandAgent,ClintonDevonEstates
Aboutme
I’vealwaysbeen interested inworking inthecountryside,havinggrownuponafarm. Ipursuedthisbystudying
RuralEnterpriseandLandmanagementatHarperAdamsUniversity.HarperAdams incorporateacompulsory
placementyearand IappliedtoClintonDevonEstates inDecember2012.My jobcoverspropertymanagement,
agriculture, lettinghouses,paddocksandallotments. Ialsoparticipate infarmmeetingsandassistwithworksuch
ascroprotations,buildingappraisalsandconditionsurveys. Inaddition, Idealwitha lotoftheday-to-dayproperty
enquiriesandoccasionallyworkalongsideexternalconsultants,whocarryoutspecialistworkfortheEstate.Myfirst
twoyearsatUniversityweretheorybased,so I’vebeenabletoputthis intopractice. I’m learningaspectsofwork
thatweareyettostudy–thiswillhopefullygivemeaheadstartwhencompletingmyfinalyearatuniversity. Iam
gainingexperiencetowardsthecompetenciesrequiredtobecomeaRuralCharteredSurveyor; theplacementyear
contributestowardsprofessionalmembershipoftheRoyal InstitutionofCharteredSurveyors.
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