5th January 2010, 10:25am  (updated 5th January 2010, 10:38am)
Ensuring the future of farming and food
farming The University of Lincoln has responded to national concerns about the future of the UK’s food manufacture, farming and food security with the launch of two programmes: BSc(Hons) Agriculture and Environmental Management and BSc(Hons) Food Manufacture.

The BSc (Hons) in Agriculture and Environmental Management has been devised following recent studies by Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for environmental and land-based industries, which identified a significant skills gap in the sector due to the ageing workforce and increased demands of technology.   Sixty percent of the vacancies in Agriculture crops and livestock in England are hard to fill - this is twice the level found across all other sectors of the economy (NESS 2008).

The aim of this programme is to provide graduates with a well-grounded understanding of the fundamental sciences of plants, animals, soils and global processes.  These underpin the management of sustainable production systems whilst recognising the socio-economic and environmental contexts required by society.

David Stainton, Principal Lecturer, said: “National studies and our own investigations regionally have shown a need for highly skilled and technical graduates in Agriculture. The impact of legislation, climate change and sustainability on food production, waste and resource management will drive the demand for technical and supervisory management-level graduates.

“Modern farming is a skilled operation that requires technical proficiency, business acumen and environmental awareness. Over the next ten years the sector will need 60,000 new entrants and this means that there will be new opportunities for the development of a young dynamic workforce.”

The new BSc in Food Manufacture is in response to the sector’s acute difficulties in securing employees with the higher level skills required to ensure future competitiveness. Fifty per cent of the sector’s workforce is over the age of 40 and one in four technologist posts are reported to be vacant due to the lack of skilled applicants, according to Improve, the Sector Skills Council for the food and drink manufacturing industry in the UK.

Pauline Lovatt, Principal Lecturer, said: “The aim of this programme is to provide students with an understanding and application of a range of sciences and manufacturing operations relating to the need of society for sustainable food security, quality and safety.

“Both programmes will be strongly interwoven to provide a thorough understanding of the whole food production chain. Graduates will be equipped with the necessary technical, business and personal skills to lead the design, implementation and operation of new products, processes and systems.”

The programmes are part of the faculty of Agriculture, Food and Animal Sciences. They will mainly be delivered at the University’s Riseholme Campus, the 460 ha historic estate which is home to the faculty's farm. Students on the BSc (Hons) Food Manufacture will also use the state-of the-art facilities at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the Holbeach Campus. Programmes start in September 2010.

Entry Requirements: 240 UCAS Tariff points or equivalent (to include A-level Biology or Chemistry.) Mature students with relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. For more details about the courses contact David Stainton on 01522  895498, Pauline Lovatt on 01406 493000 or email enquiries@lincoln.ac.uk
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