UKPSF responds to RHS Horticulture Matters report

14th May 2013

A report released today by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reveals a drastic shortage in skills across the UK horticultural sector. The RHS surveyed 200 horticultural businesses and found that over 70% cannot fill skilled vacancies. The report, ‘Horticulture Matters’, is being presented to the Government today.

The UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF) welcomes the report. UKPSF Chair, Professor Jim Beynon says: “We have consulted a broad group of plant scientists in the UK and found that concerns over skills shortages are prevalent not just in industry but also within universities, research institutes and botanic gardens.”

The UK has some highly-skilled plant scientists, but a recent survey carried out by the UKPSF shows that many people are worried about skills gaps in particular areas of plant science as well as the overall number of researchers. The results of the UKPSF study will be available this summer.

Professor Beynon says: “Our study demonstrates the need for a fully functional research pipeline to ensure that UK plant science makes a full contribution to the economy and to 21st century challenges. The Government is due to launch its UK agri-tech strategy this year, which we sincerely hope will address the concerns raised by our survey and the RHS report.”

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