Developing Skills

The bioeconomy is a growing, innovative industry that is undergoing many exciting technological advances. Propelling this industry will require a workforce skilled and up-to-date on the latest research, processes and techniques.

We want to attract and retain an expert workforce by building a stronger academic and technical skills base through industry-led actions. Developing skills needed by businesses for the future is essential.



Askham Bryan College

Through our Local Growth Funding we secured £1.6M toward Askham Bryan College’s Agri-tech and Agri-engineering facilities. The money has gone towards an Agri-tech training centre and a Land Based Engineering Centre of Excellence. The new facilities give students access to state of the art equipment and the latest farm management techniques and technologies, whilst mapping curriculum delivery towards the needs and aspirations of employers—enabling students to emerge work-ready from their education.

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Selby College – Trailblazer

Due to the increasing complexity of automation deployed in both Food and Drink and Agri-tech industries there is an urgent demand for new and cutting-edge skills. This Trailblazer project will meet this demand by delivering learning and skills on topics such as: strategy, maintenance management, information technology, mechanical engineering (and related technologies such as hydraulics, pneumatics and electronics). Trailblazer will also support the delivery of technical and higher-level skills and Apprenticeships.

What is a ‘Trailblazer’?

Government reforms are aiming to make apprenticeships more employer led. Apprenticeship ”frameworks” are being phased out and all apprenticeship training will be through employer designed apprenticeship ”standards”. Standards are being designed by groups of employers known as ‘trailblazers’. This employer involvement makes sure that apprenticeship training creates people with workplace skills that are relevant to businesses and industry.


Case Study: Apprenticeships at Fera Science Ltd

Jo Turnton who secured an apprenticeship at Fera Science Ltd

As part of our area’s ambition to lead the bioeconomy, we invested £2.7m to provide a world class flexible lab space to attract new businesses at the National Agrifood Innovation Campus at Sand Hutton, York . Fera Science is one of the campuses largest tenants, a science-based organisation that works across the agri-food supply chain.

Joe Turton secured his apprenticeship as a Science Laboratory Technician in 2011 at Fera Science Ltd and in 2013 began a full time role as an Assistant Scientist. Joe was awarded Advanced Apprentice of the Year in 2013, and has since been awarded Chemical Sciences Apprentice of the Year 2014 by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

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