The Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs has announced their new agricultural and business training programme, “Cultivating Futures” to a room of more than 150 people from across the Scottish industry.
Launched at the Royal Highland Show it will encompass access to affordable practical training, business and efficiency training, the associations own leadership programme “Cultivating Leaders” and an online information hub.
The programme will offer 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.
SAYFC recognised the need for rural youth training more than three years ago when they started developing opportunities for their members which to date have included sheep shearing courses, cow signals, cattle trimming, lameness workshops, health and safety and last year they piloted Cultivating Leaders.
Following a grant from the Scottish Government’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Department of £30,000 for one year, the association is now in a position for further develop their programme and will be rolling out Cultivating Futures over the next twelve 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 to name just two examples.
Within the business and efficiency category, rural youth will gain skills in a wide range of topics such as budgeting, managing cash flows and writing a business plan to understanding the value of good nutrition management.
Online, “The Hub” will feature information from the agricultural and rural industry that is of interest to rural youth. This will include an events calendar, training directory, news and reports and an area showcasing job vacancies/sought.
And after a successful pilot, Cultivating Leaders will return looking at how to manage succession, goals and leadership to finding out more about what a bank will support and how to complete a tenancy application. Supported by Scottish Enterprise and Henry Plumb Foundation, it will help those who want to start their own business or take a leading role in an existing one.
National Chairman Stuart Jamieson commented: “The re-introduction of the Agri and Rural Affairs committee has allowed the association to focus more on the roots of the organisation, and assisting our members to tackle the industry challenges we face. In order to best equip them to do this, we have consulted with SAYFC Board of Management, National Council, Agri & Rural Affairs Committee and our various Regional groups, as well as stakeholders such as NFUS to develop Cultivating Futures.”
He continued: “It has been developed to ensure it meets the interests and needs of rural youth, and through the range of subsidised or free training it will providing a lasting impact that will benefit the whole of the Scottish industry. I would encourage as many members, no matter the geographical location or current experience to take up this opportunity.”