The importance of partnerships in the Land-based industries - Bridgwater & Taunton College

As Curriculum Manager for Land and Environmental Management, I am responsible for five of the College’s land-based programmes, my days are constantly challenging and varied. Those responsibilities cover a diverse range of courses in Horticulture, Countryside Management, Fisheries, Floristry and Arboriculture.

Loving the land, for me, it is a constant pleasure to experience so many different aspects of teaching every day. Teachers never stop learning, and in turn they can pass on those new experiences to their students.

In this article I can only hint at the variety of skills that our students learn over their time at Cannington. Over the last few weeks those experiences have ranged from goat and sheep counting at Cheddar Gorge for the National Trust to looking after the flower beds on Taunton Station; from coarse fishing to coastal rock pooling, from cutting down unsafe trees to setting up the local church flower festival; just a few of the activities undertaken by our students every week of the year. And students at every level get the opportunity to ‘get stuck in’ in community activities.

One of the key focusses that the teaching staff here has, is to ensure that, when a student finishes his or her course, they move on with the knowledge and skills needed in their chosen career path. To make this happen we need to be in tune with the needs of those employers.

Bridgwater College has an amazing range of contacts with local and more distant employers and in Land and Environment we have a strong and ever growing range of partners with whom we work. This enables students to get out into the community alongside volunteers and experts in all areas of land-based employment.

Those employers also provide work experience for our students which they must complete as part of their courses. Our partners nurture and encourage students to develop skills in real life environments.

It would take far too long to acknowledge the importance of our partners in helping create a future for students when they leave Cannington. However, it is clear from what we know, that many of the students who work with our partners ultimately find employment with that partner.

Each year we welcome another intake of students. Shortly we will be seeing this year’s students gaining their qualifications and as they take a step into the world of work, we are already busy planning for the same wide range of exciting learning experiences for the students arriving in September.

If you are an employer looking to build relationships with educational providers or a student looking to study a land-based subject, please call our Information and Guidance team on 01278 441234 for more information.

By Nigel Cox, Curriculum Manager for Land and Environmental Management at Bridgwater College, Cannington Centre.

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