New collaborative project between NFUS, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Borders College will help cattle and sheep farms secure the future by highlighting the benefits of workplace learning for young people, career influencers and agricultural employers.

The Beef and Sheep Farming Careers project will follow a range of students, all with their own backgrounds and backgrounds, who are at different stages of their professional agricultural journey. The project will highlight different pathways to learning, whether directly from school, college, as a career change or through pre-apprenticeship. These pathways can all lead to modern apprenticeship and even further and higher education.

Borders College continues to offer a range of agricultural apprenticeship courses that cover all sectors of the industry. Those who complete their apprenticeship on cattle and sheep farms can now obtain recognition for their specialization in sheep and cattle farming to be certified by Borders College. In addition to the requisite knowledge and skills in animal welfare, productivity, mechanization and grassland management, apprentices will have the opportunity to take valuable and highly relevant student induction units on biodiversity and land use. climate change.

The project will help raise awareness of what is involved for both the learner and the employer and showcase the many benefits that workplace learning can bring. This will help ensure that there is a pipeline of future employees who have the skills and knowledge to operate a vibrant and growing industry.

This project will address many of the recommendations made in the NFUS ‘Education and Skills in Farming and Crofting Report’, which was derived from a series of focus groups within the industry, and for raising the profile of the diet. and agriculture and train the trainers and support farmers as employers and mentors. Planned activity includes a series of case studies featuring personal experiences of apprentices, internship students and employers, shareable infographics, links to resources to support employers and a media takeover. social.

“The focus groups highlighted a number of barriers employers perceive in hiring an apprentice and we want to remove some of these barriers and showcase the many benefits that an apprentice can bring to a business and to employers ” said George Jamieson, head of skills policy at NFUS.
“Borders College is one of many high quality organizations providing apprenticeships in Scotland and we are delighted to work with them to highlight how they include sustainability, biodiversity, technology as well as traditional farming skills in their curriculum. We seek to work closely with the college sector at large and potentially schools on information and collaboration.
Mary Thomson, Head of Programs and Learning at Borders College, said: We are excited to have the opportunity to work with QMS and NFUS to highlight some of the excellent workplace learning opportunities available in the industry and hope this will encourage more learners to consider careers in the industry. Agriculture. We also look forward to hearing from employers in the border region interested in providing a workplace learning opportunity for a student.
One of the apprentices who will share their story is Rhianna, who is currently undertaking a modern apprenticeship at Pilmuir Farm, a mostly cattle farm on the outskirts of Hawick. Matthews Thomson of Pilmuir Farm, who initially recruited Rhianna as an internship student and encouraged her to continue her modern apprenticeship, said: “As a young person running a farming business myself, I know that opportunities are hard to come by and it’s great to be able to give another young person the opportunity to learn more about the industry in such a way. positive. “

The NFUS report on Education and Skills in Agriculture and Agriculture is available at:

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