ONE local school is giving pupils keen on entering the farming industry a head start.
Peele Community College at Long Sutton has introuced a BTEC in Land Management this year and is complementing classroom studies with practical experience on a farm.
It’s a move that has been welcomed by David Hoyles, of Monmouth House Farm at Lutton, who is welcoming the young people on to his farm on a regular basis during term-time.
He said: “Farming is a very much more technical industry than it used to be and there is a lot more science behind it. One person is probably doing the role of two, three or four people in the past so the more training, education and practical experience they can get the better.”
David pointed out that the course was just the start of a longer period of training for the pupils, and added: “We used to be able to come into farming with few qualifications but that’s not the case any more. The jobs people are doing are a lot more skilful and technical and this has got to be the right way to go to get educated, intelligent and keen people into the industry.”
Teacher Gareth Bradwell, who alternates visits with colleague Mark Washbrook, said the school had been keen to start the course because of the farm work opportunities locally.
Gareth said students had learned to drive tractors on their most recent farm visit and would undertake other practical work, depending on the season.
He added: “We want it to be as hands-on as possible.”