A new training scheme is being rolled out across the Scottish Borders to help bring more young people into the rural workforce.
With figures from across Scotland showing that only 25% of the number of trained workers required are coming into agriculture every year, BMR (Borders Machinery Ring Ltd) has launched a new pre-apprenticeship programme to help make up the shortfall.
The programme developed by Ringlink – another farmer-owned co-operative machinery ring covering Aberdeenshire – will provide an exciting opportunity for 5 young people (aged 16-21) to experience a meaningful 6-month introduction into practical working environments and an insight into the range of vocational opportunities offered by farming and the land-based industries.
Commenting on the new programme, Hugo Lee of Sandystones, Jedburgh stated:
“Skilled labour is the lifeblood of farming businesses across the Borders.”
“BMR is to be applauded for launching this scheme which I believe will bring great benefits to the young people in training and the businesses where they are mentored.”
“We are seriously considering taking part in the programme here at Sandystones and I would urge other farm and rural business owners and managers to find out more about how they might also benefit from the scheme.”
Michael Bayne, Manager of Earlston based BMR added:
“The BMR team have been delighted to take part in a series of careers fairs at 4 Borders high schools. We believe that this, and our links with the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) initiative, should help us to identify suitable candidates for our exciting new pre-apprenticeship programme.”
“What we really need now are mentors to come forward to provide a workplace for these young people. The programme will fund and provide full training for the young person to achieve certificates in everything from forklifts to first-aid, tractor driving and maintenance to health and safety. Mentoring business will benefit from the candidates putting these skills into action. Placements are not restricted to farms. In Aberdeenshire, where the programme is well established, estates, agricultural engineers, auction marts, forestry and landscaping businesses have all been involved.”
“The pre-apprenticeship programme has been successfully run by Ringlink across Aberdeenshire for over 5 years attracting 178 young people to consider a land-based career; 59 candidates were selected to take part between 2013 & 2017. The programme has been a great success for the participants and a hugely positive experience for mentors.”
“We are delighted to bring this programme to the Borders, and I encourage anyone who would like further information to get in touch with our BMR team.”
BMR is hosting a lunchtime seminar at their Earlston offices on 22nd February. This will provide an opportunity to learn more about the pre-apprenticeship scheme and the predicted benefits for participating businesses, the wider industry, and the young trainees.
If you are interested in finding out more about the scheme either as a candidate or a farmer mentor please call the BMR office on 01896 758091