Farming

More women and girls living and working in Scottish agriculture will be able to apply for funding for courses to help develop their skills, the Scottish Government has announced.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said that the Practical Training Fund, which was launched earlier this year has already supported more than 400 women and girls to undertake courses to develop their skillset or change careers.

Eligible courses include support to get tractor and trailer driving certificates or help to train sheepdogs.

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The additional £75,000 announced yesterday will allow women and girls over the age of 13 to apply for grants of up to £500 - or more on a case by case basis - for the cost of a practical or technical training, with the first batch of successful applicants being notified by the end of January 2022.

Gougeon said that £300,000 had been provided over the past year to support women in agriculture, including the wider roll-out of the personal development training programme ‘Be Your Best Self’.

Other initiatives had included a project to test innovative solutions for childcare in rural areas and the development of a skills sharing app to provide an easy to use one-stop shop to find training and skills development opportunities across the country, particularly for those in rural and island areas.

“We want to see more women joining those who are already developing a career in Scottish agriculture – which is why it’s important that women are given these opportunities in what has been a very male-dominated industry,” said Gougeon.

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