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Education is crucial to agriculture’s future, says CAAV

11 July 2019

Education is crucial to agriculture’s future, says CAAV

 

Educating the younger generation and embracing technology will be crucial to safeguarding the future of agriculture in the UK, a group of professionals has warned.

The approach taken towards attracting young people to pursue an education and career in farming needs to change to ensure the industry can survive, said speakers at the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers’ (CAAV) AGM on June 28. “The industry needs more degree-qualified people and highly skilled staff, as well as more continued professional development (CPD),” said Professor David Llewellyn, vice chancellor at Harper Adams University. “Solid professionals, able to deal with technology and leadership skills are needed in modern farming.”

There’s a huge shift happening in agricultural business management. “There does need to be a new approach to food, the environment, climate impacts and health implications, but we need to close the skills gap and bring the best and brightest into farming – this will be as important as the food we produce for the future,” explained Prof Llewellyn.

“With a demographic dip in 18-year-olds, agriculture needs to look at ways of improving skills but also attracting those into the industry that do not have a natural affinity to it. Productivity – and profitability – is driven by education.”

There also needs to be a comprehensive approach to education throughout workers’ careers, not just in the teenage years, he said. “Education and skills run together.”

Advancing technologies mean a number of jobs could become fully automated, including tractor driving, which might see a loss of jobs. But there’s also hope that automation might protect family farms, as technology could make smaller farms more financially stable. In addition, Prof Llewellyn believes co-bots, rather than robots, and labour-augmented automation could be the future. “New jobs could be created while leadership and management would need to be adapted.”

Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the CAAV, said it was vital to adopt technological advances, or risk being left behind. “If we don’t pick it up, our competitors will.”

However, one of the core issues is the management of land occupation – and the latest tenancy law review could be integral to moving land into the hands of the trained. “We need the right people on the land to do the right thing with it. It doesn’t matter where land comes from, but it does matter who it goes to.”

Younger generations perceive technology differently, which could be used to attract them into agriculture, said Prof Llewellyn. With Generation Z having never lived without access to a smartphone, it is essential that they are informed that agriculture is a technologically advanced sector in which to pursue a rewarding career. “We need to consider the attitudes of young people, because if we don’t adapt as an industry, we will not attract them.

“We have a national drive to get skills into the industry at the moment – through various channels such as AHDB and the NFU, with the idea to build a new professional agenda for farming,” said Prof Llewellyn. “So we can say to young people that agriculture is the industry they should choose, as it’s professional. Education and skills need to be front and centre to fulfil our ambitions for the future. If we don’t advocate the exciting advances in the industry, then we will lose out.”

New Part-Time Master’s Course in Rural Land and Business Management

11 July 2019

New Part-Time Master’s Course in Rural Land and Business Management

University of Reading

 

The University of Reading has now approved a part-time two year version of its Master’s course in Rural Land and Business Management which can be taken in conjunction with work.  It is now available for applications for September this year, subject to numbers. 

The course is aimed at those already working in the rural sector who want to improve their career prospects by further study on an RICS-accredited Master’s course (contributing to their record for the RICS Rural APC) that will assist preparation for the CAAV examinations.  

It is designed to provide students with the specialist knowledge and skills they will need to further their careers, including economic, technological, legal and social concepts and principles.  It is to help develop a critical awareness of current problems and new insights with the exercise of initiative, sound judgement, and the ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.

Those on the part-time course will study the same modules at the same time as the full time students, including:

  • Introduction to agriculture and rural industries
  • Rural property law and valuation
  • Strategic rural asset management
  • Management case studies in rural surveying
  • Rural policy and planning

The course includes a dissertation which is to be completed over the summer in Year 2.

As a part-time course, this will be:

  • over two years instead of one
  • require attending the University for one or two days a week during the 20 teaching weeks over the autumn and spring terms. 

That may make this particularly suitable for those within travelling distance of Reading.

All students will need to attend the induction programme prior to starting the course in September and the five day field trip in the summer of Year 2.

The tuition fees will be £5,225 per year for two years.

For further details, contact a.cropley@reading.ac.uk

 

New National Nature Reserve declared in Cumbria

09 July 2019

Natural England has declared Bolton Fell and Walton Mosses as a new National Nature Reserve in Cumbria. Located near Carlisle, Natural England's press release confirms that the new reserve encompasses the recently restored Bolton Fell Moss Site of Special Sceintific Interest (SSSI) and the pristine condition Walton Fell Moss SSSI. Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

RICS/RAU Rural Market Survey - Call for Contributors

04 July 2019

Many members will make use of the RICS/RAU Rural Market Survey, which is the longest running independent survey of land transactions in the rural market. The survey is produced half yearly and the survey team, which is led by Nick Millard at the RAU, is collecting data for the first 6 months of 2019 now for publication at the end of July.

The survey is in two parts:

- the list of transactions, which is of particular interest to practitioners; and

- the opinion survey which, conversely, is of interest to commentators and is an important tool in updating the non-specialist press and others on the rural land market.

Whilst contributors are still keen to submit transaction reports, for which the team are very grateful, responses to the opinion survey have fallen below the levels they were previously. The RAU Team hope that as many people as possible will respond to the survey, even if only in part, to improve the robustness and utility of the data. If you have not previously contributed to the survey but would like to do so please email RicsSurvey@rau.ac.uk and the Team will send you a link and add you to the circulation list.

DEFRA announces outstanding agri-environment payments to be made in July

19 June 2019

DEFRA has announced today that Environmental Stewardship (ES) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) agreement holders who have not as yet received a full payment for 2015-2018 annual revenue claims should receive a Treasury-funded payment in July whilst the RPA continues to process these annual revenue claims. 

This payment should be for 100% of the estimated claim value held on the RPA's IT system at the point in time the payment is made. Emails and letters from the RPA should start going out this morning to affected agreement holders to inform them of this announcement.  Further information is available on GOV.UK. 

An interview with the RPA's CEO, Paul Caldwell, about these payments was aired on this morning's edition of BBC Radio 4's Farming Today.

Website Update Notice

18 June 2019

Please note that this website is being updated on Wednesday, 19th June 2019, and you may encounter some minor interference whilst navigating the site.

We thank you for your patience and trust you will not encounter too much inconvenience.

DEFRA announces 3 new general licences

13 June 2019

DEFRA has announced that three new general licences will be available from Friday 14th June. The new licences will allow users to control certain species of wild birds in order to:

  • conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (WML GL34)
  • preserve public health or public safety (WML GL35)
  • prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (WML GL36)

  Further detail is available on the GOV.UK website.

Prime Minister announces net zero emissions by 2050

12 June 2019

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that the UK will work towards a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Legislation has been laid today to set this target in law. For further information, please see DEFRA's blog on GOV.UK.

Judicial Appointments Commission: Members of the First-tier Tribunal, Property Chamber

11 June 2019

The Judicial Appointments Commission is advertising posts for fee-paid Professional Members of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). The application process will open on 10th July and close on 24th July 2019. Details can be found on the JAC website at https://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/vacancies/136  

The JAC is also advertising for fee-paid Valuer Chairmen and Valuers for the same Tribunal - the closing date for these posts is 19th June 2019 and details can be found at https://www.judicialappointments.gov.uk/vacancies/132

HS2 website for Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire works

11 June 2019

HS2 has published a website giving information on the progress of the scheme in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, including contact details, forthcoming events and details of the works currently being carried out. The website can be found at https://hs2inbucksandoxfordshire.commonplace.is/

Environment Agency warning over baled waste scam

05 June 2019

The Environment Agency has warned landowners to be aware that criminal gangs may seek to use land or buildings to store baled waste temporarily but then abandon the site, leaving the landowner facing the clean-up costs.

The EA has given the following advice for landlords and landowners:

  • Carry out rigorous checks on prospective new tenants. Land and property owners have a responsibility to ensure anyone leasing their land/premises complies with regulations, so it is essential that you establish how and for what they are going to use the land/property.
  • Check any empty land and property regularly and make sure it is secure.
  • It is illegal to store waste on your land without the required permits. You may be committing an offence by allowing waste to be stored on your land or property without the relevant permissions and you could be liable to prosecution and the cost of removing the waste.
  • Landlords should check before signing a contract that the contract complies with regulations. You can view whether a potential tenant holds the correct permit to carry out waste operations at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/access-the-public-register-for-environmental-information.
  • The offer of payment to temporarily store waste is a scam, the waste will likely never be collected.
  • Be vigilant and report any unusual behaviour. If you are suspicious of prospective tenants please contact us for more information and advice.
  • If you are approached to store baled waste, even on a short term basis, refuse the material and call the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Scottish RP & S website - unavailable this weekend

31 May 2019

The Scottish Rural Payments and Services website will be unavailble from midnight on Friday 31st May to midnight on Sunday 2nd June to allow for routine maintenance.

Natural Capital Management Training Course

30 May 2019

The Ecosystems Knowledge Network is offering a Natural Capital Management Training Course for rural land owners, estate managers and their advisers. The course is to be held

  • on 3rd July 2019 at Throws Farm Conference Centre, Essex, CM6 3AQ
  • on 25th September 2019 at Lilleshall National Sports & Conference Centre, Shropshire, TF10 9AT

The cost is £275 and CAAV members are entitled to a 20% discount. Further details are available on the EKN website.

UCEM - New rural route for Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship

29 May 2019

NEW UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF ESTATE MANAGEMENT COURSE

RURAL ROUTE FOR CHARTERED SURVEYOR DEGREE APPRENTICESHIP

A second degree apprenticeship course giving entry to the rural profession is starting this autumn at the University College of Estate Management (UCEM) at Reading.

With the course at Harper Adams now entering its second year, the UCEM course, developed in conjunction with professional practices:

  • leads to a Real Estate degree, not a specifically rural one
  • but with a rural dissertation in the fourth and final year
  • expects the employer to enable the apprentice to satisfy all the competencies required by the RICS for its APC.

The combination of professional work and training with the course and dissertation offers a route towards qualification with the CAAV.

UCEM says:

UCEM is pleased to announce that it has added a rural route to its Chartered Surveyor Degree apprenticeship.

The rural route includes an RICS accredited BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management degree, professional practice workshops and the RICS Rural APC pathway as the end-point assessment.  The project that is completed in the final year of the four-year BSc degree will be on a Rural topic and will be supervised and marked by a Rural Real Estate academic.

This route does not include a specialist Rural degree, the employer will be required to provide the apprentice with workplace training to enable all (Level 1, 2 and 3) competencies required by the RICS for the Rural APC pathway to be met. UCEM will need to be confident that the apprentice will have the opportunity to develop these competencies in the workplace before accepting the apprentice.

The Chartered Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship is a Level 6 apprenticeship and the funding cap is £27k. Apprenticeship Levy payers will pay this sum from their Levy account. Non-Levy payers will pay 5% of the total cost of the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship lasts for 56 months, of which the degree takes 48 months. The final 8 months allows the apprentices to finalise their structured training, case study and CPD and prepare for final APC assessment.

For further details, please contact Meryl Bonser on m.bonser@ucem.ac.uk

DEFRA launches £10m Urban Tree Challenge Fund

20 May 2019

DEFRA has announced a new Urban Tree Challenge Fund which will see £10 million funding made available to encourage the planting of more than 130,000 trees in "green urban areas" across England's towns and cities over the next two years. The fund will open for applications this week and will require match funding from successful applicants. Further information can be found on GOV.UK.

DEFRA publishes first review of 25 Year Environment Plan

16 May 2019

DEFRA has published the first progress report for the 25 Year Environment Plan which was launched in January 2018. The progress report shows that up to March 2019, 90% of the plan's actions have been delivered or are being progressed. Further details can be found in the press release on GOV.UK.

Driving forward low carbon farming in Scotland

09 May 2019

A new farmer-led initiative to drive low-carbon, environmentally sustainable farming practices in Scotland has been launched as part of the Farming for a Better Climate (FFBC) programme. Further information is available on the Scottish Government website.

Tips and reminders for English BPS 2019 applications

07 May 2019

With just over one week until 15 May deadline for BPS 2019 claims, the CAAV's Alice De Soer gives essential tips about applying in England in the attached Farmers Weekly article.

House of Lords Committee calls for rural strategy for England

29 April 2019

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy has published a report calling on the Government to develop a rural strategy for England and help realise the potential of rural economies. The report "Time for a Strategy for the Rural Economy" can be downloaded from the Parliament website.

New Surveyor Members Sought for Upper Tribunal

26 April 2019

Two new Surveyor Members are sought for the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), with one to start in 2019 and the other in 2020. Full details are available on the Judicial Appointments Commission website and the closing date for applications for both posts is 7th May 2019.

Although some cases are heard in London and others elsewhere in England and Wales, home-working is permitted and daily attendance in London is not required.

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