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Delivering the right skills for rural businesses

Duchy College has successfully bid for £50,000 in funding from the Prince’s Countryside Trust.  The money will be used to fund the Nurturing Excellence Project which aims to help young people to progress into sustainable employment.


The project will see the college working with a consortium of 22 food and farming sector employers across Cornwall and Devon. It’s hoped that over 1,300 young people will engage in activities designed to progress individuals into local sustainable jobs within the food and farming industry.


Helen Aldis, Manager at The Prince’s Countryside Fund, explains; “These grants will help to maintain and support a sustainable farming and rural community in Britain through the provision of vital education and training, which will not only equip young people with the skills required to succeed in important rural careers, but also provide existing farmers and rural businesses with much needed financial and business support to remain viable and grow.”


The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which has contributed £4.4 million in grants in the four years since its inception, was set up by HRH The Prince of Wales to provide support to the multitude of remarkable organisations and individuals working tirelessly to keep farmers farming and our rural communities alive.  What makes the Fund unique is that it doesn’t support the environment, buildings or wildlife but the people who manage and maintain the countryside.


Helen added: “The projects we are funding aim to tackle some of the challenges our rural communities are facing. The farming industry has warned of a skills shortage if the 60,000 new entrants we need in the next decade are not found. We must also grasp the opportunity to increase the quantity of British produced food to reduce our reliance on imported food which is currently at 40%.


“The Prince’s Countryside Fund with the help of our marvellous supporting companies is proud to support the people, organisations and communities working to protect and ensure a long-term future for British farming, agriculture and the wider rural economy.”


The money will be used to help fund a Food Business Co-ordinator who will co-ordinate four industry focused programmes designed to equip young people with the skills, aptitudes and ambitions to meet local employer needs contributing to the sustainability of the rural community.


Dr Phil Le Grice, the Assistant Principal of Duchy College said: “Delivering young people with the right skills, experiences and overall employability are core to everything we do.  The rural economy of the South West is growing and the needs of businesses are changing.  This funding will enable us to work closer with a number of our key industry partners through the Nurturing Excellence Project to deliver students with the right skills set to meet industry needs.”


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