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Industry representatives recently met with Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to discuss how to improve access to education within the sector.

Mr Benn explained agricultural and horticultural skills development is a priority for the government.

“Farming is by its very nature a skilled profession, but more can and should be done to keep the industry challenging and competitive,” he asserted.

The secretary went on to say there was a need to make it easer for new farmers to break into the market and improve opportunities for those already in business.

He stated the industry should take the lead on development and the government would follow suit.

Currently on offer to farmers looking to boost their skill levels are short courses, on-the-job training, in-depth accredited courses and apprenticeships.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs recently announced its backing of new European Union regulations on labelling for electricals that could save the country around £150m per year.

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