In these challenging economic times employers from across the environmental and land-based sector have joined forces with Lantra Sector Skills Council to ensure that industries’ voice is heard and sector needs are met.An impressive list of leading industry figures in the environmental and land-based sector has been revealed today by Lantra Sector Skills Council with the announcement of their new England Council.Chaired by Yorkshire farmer Richard Longthorp the obvious strength of Lantra’s new Council indicates the depth of the employer – led body’s ambitions in influencing England policy and skills development in 2010 and beyond.Set to meet for the first time on 12 April 2010, the Council for England includes representatives from ten of the sector’s industries as well as Landex and Unite the Union. Some of the leading industry figures come from Prospect, RSPCA and the Agricultural Engineers Association including Paul-Anthony Campbell from Design for London representing the landscaping industry.An urban and landscape designer, Paul is an expert advisor to the National Trust and Landscape Mentor with three university degrees.The National Council for England will make a significant contribution to Lantra's work as a strong employer-led body that can steer policy decisions and seek to influence developments on behalf of the sector at both a national and regional level.Chair, Richard Longthorp, said: “I will be encouraging a robust but constructive relationship between industry and Lantra with Council members challenging Lantra and in turn Lantra challenging industry.“This is an exciting opportunity for industry to work together to help raise the profile of skills provision throughout England, at a time when better skills and training support are so important for the whole sector. The voice of employers together with Lantra is critical if we are to make the environmental and land-based sector a priority.”Together the Council members will work with Lantra’s National Director, Madge Moore, providing strategic leadership to develop and deliver a national plan for England that ensures Lantra is not only sensitive to businesses needs but also provides a strong governance structure.Madge Moore added: “As so many education, skills, rural and sustainable development policies are developed nationally but delivered at a regional level, Lantra must make sure it is at the heart of the national decision-making process’ whilst also being able to influence regional delivery mechanisms to get maximum benefit for our sector.“This exciting new Council brings together representatives from a range of industries all with a wealth of experience and knowledge that will influence government and regional agencies and be beneficial in raising the important role our industries play in meeting the challenges of climate change, food and fuel security and sensitive countryside management.”Today’s announcement of Lantra’s England Council follows the successful launch last year of the UK body’s Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Councils. Gordon McGlone Lantra’s UK Chair summed up: “In these challenging economic times it's even more important our industries' voice is heard and we meet the needs of the sector. Bringing together such a passionate group of employers and industry representatives provides us with a great platform to really influence policy, lobby for change and work to secure funding and provision to meet industry needs. With so many education, skills and rural policy decisions now made at country-level, the National Council for England will work with Lantra to make sure we are at the heart of the whole decision-making process and can ensure the right policy outcomes are adopted which benefit the sector.”To find out more about Lantra in England visit
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