Training the key to help youngsters into rural jobs

Affordable practical training, business and efficiency tuition and an online information hub will be the cornerstones of 'Cultivating Futures', a new initiative set up by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers' Clubs (SAYFC).

Stuart Jamieson said the initiative will be rolled out over the next 12 months. Picture: Contributed
Stuart Jamieson said the initiative will be rolled out over the next 12 months. Picture: Contributed

According to the national chairman, Stuart Jamieson, the programme offers those who did not go to college or university, or achieve all the training they desired through their education, the opportunity to pick up new skills that will benefit them within the workplace and in their own social environment.

Jamieson said the SAYFC recognised the need for rural youth training more than three years ago when it started developing opportunities for its members, which, in the past, had focused on sheep-shearing courses, cow signals, cattle trimming, lameness workshops and health and safety with the addition of the association’s Cultivating Leaders last year.

Following a grant from the Scottish Government’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Department of £30,000 for one year, Jamieson said the association was now in a position to further develop its programme and would be rolling out Cultivating Futures over the next 12 months.

The practical training will be supported by Tayforth Machinery Ring, Borders Machinery Ring and Highland Machinery Ring, and offered will be forklift training and sprayer tests amongst other practical skills.

The business and efficiency category would focus on skills such as budgeting, managing cash flows, writing a business plan and understanding the value of good nutrition management.

The online hub will feature information from the agricultural and rural industry pertinent to the interests of rural youth and will include an events calendar, training directory, news and reports and an area showcasing job vacancies and employment sought.

Jamieson said that the Cultivating Leaders programme would also return looking at how to manage succession, goals and leadership in the sector and to finding out more about what a bank will support and how to complete a tenancy application in order to help those who want to start their own business or take a leading role in an existing one.