Nick's growing reputation based on skills from Pershore College days - The Evesham Observer

Nick's growing reputation based on skills from Pershore College days

Rob George 22nd Apr, 2023   0

A FORMER Pershore College student has secured a position at a world-leading cultivation science and technology company thanks to the skills he developed during his studies – and the college has now launched a new degree to help even more students move into the industry.

Nick Monkton has secured a position as a research and development technician at Birmingham-based Saturn Bioponics after completing an Agritech foundation degree at Pershore College.

Saturn Bioponics provides hydroponics systems, a method of growing crops without soil, to commercial agricultural businesses to improve profitability by increasing yields and reducing labour and resource costs.

Nick is currently undertaking a 34-week internal training programme at the company, in which his role involves ensuring the systems are running correctly, sowing and planting crops in the crop production systems before harvesting these for analysis, as well as pest and disease control.

He is also learning more about data collection and developing his understanding of the growth phases of crops, and will be able to conduct trials autonomously at the end of the programme.

Nick attributes his success to his two-year foundation degree in which he developed the skills he uses in his role at Pershore College’s Agri-Tech Research Centre using a hydroponics system installed by Saturn Bioponics.

Pershore College, part of the college group WCG, has now launched a three-year degree in the subject which will have its first intake in September

The BSc (Hons) Sustainable Horticultural Technology degree, which will be delivered through WCG’s Higher Education arm Warwickshire College and University Centre (WCUC), will provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in contemporary horticultural industries.

Nick said: “My foundation degree was extremely relevant and I did a lot of the same activities during my studies using the very same hydroponics system.

“This makes me a lot more capable at the job and very well-suited to the role as I have previous experience, which has already resulted in higher quality outputs in my performance.

“I have already received some fantastic feedback from my line manager who feels comfortable to leave me to get on with my work in the greenhouses. My goal is to progress in the industry and become a trials manager.

“It is extremely exciting Pershore College has launched a new degree in the subject. The agricultural sector is undergoing a considerable amount of change, and it is very important those moving into the industry have the most up-to-date technical knowledge and skills to support this.”

The new degree will see students work on a small-scale vertical farm for food trials, work in a hydroponic centre for growth trials, undertake laboratory analysis, and learn to analyse data from field surveys using drone technology.

Professor Roy Kennedy, of Pershore College, said: “Our two-year foundation degree is very popular, and we are now delighted to launch our new three-year degree which will further equip our students with the knowledge they need to move into the changing agricultural sector.”


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