The purpose of the National Land Based College (NLBC) is to support the training and development of land based industries, by ensuring that those working within them have access to the best possible opportunities in a co-ordinated manner.
The NLBC aims to ensure:
• specialist colleges and universities, research institutions, industry & representative bodies, and employers work more collaboratively;
• Land based vocations are widely considered as an attractive career option and Continued Professional Development has a greater focus;
• qualifications are responsive to industry needs
• there is high international demand for UK land based education and training.
Morris said the NLBC would deliver through a "variation on a hub and spoke model", operating as a virtual college, with a relatively small central hub in terms of infrastructure and staffing, located in the heart of the UK, providing a focal point for work with the industry.
The central hub will be supported by a number of centres of excellence around the UK (potentially multiple centres for each sector), which will act as venues for delivering the face-to-face elements. These spokes will provide the geographical coverage that is crucial for ensuring local access to a relevant range of CPD; and they will provide the specialist facilities and expertise to both provide higher level training and support others to do so.
Blended learning (a mix of face-to-face and on-line delivery) is key to the success of the NLBC, which will utilise and develop a range of technologies to deliver this.
A development board was established in July 2015, containing leading representatives from both industry and colleges, chaired by Lord Donald Curry of Kirkharle Kt, CBE.
Existing land based colleges and universities, through their membership body Landex, are supporters of NLBC and a partnership with City & Guilds has also been formed, who will be the awarding body for the new NLBC endorsed qualifications.
The NLBC is keen to hear from organisations or individuals who would be keen to help achieve the vision. Please contact Leigh Morris via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @MorrisLeigh.