A new resource for agriculture businesses was launched at the Royal Highland Show by Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills.
The employers’ toolkit, developed by Lantra Scotland on behalf of the Skills for Farming Group with support from Skills Development Scotland, will support employers in making informed decisions on different types of training as well as providing practical information on wages, responsibilities, funding and mentoring.
Available in print and online at www.scotland.lantra.co.uk/employers-toolkit the toolkit guides employers through apprenticeships, work placements, internships, volunteering, farm visits and mentoring, covering technical aspects like contracts, insurance and induction. Quick reference cards also include case studies, checklists for the employers, details on types of apprenticeships and other useful information.
Around 60 stakeholders, Scottish Government representatives, individuals from the agricultural industry and apprentices attended the launch, hearing from speakers Andrew McCornick, NFUS President; Jamie Hepburn MSP; James Orr, farming employer; Gordon McGuiness, Director of Industries and Enterprise Networks at Skills Development Scotland, and Liz Barron-Majerik, Director of Lantra Scotland.
Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “I am clear that the more skills an individual can develop and retain, the more opportunities that person will enjoy. That is why, faced with the fast-paced changes occurring within the rural workforce, it is essential that we ensure people continue to have the skills required to enable them to develop and succeed in their working life.
“The new employers toolkit is an important part of this process as it will enable employers to make informed decisions on different types of training available from apprenticeships and work placements to mentoring and volunteering opportunities.
“I am therefore, delighted to launch the toolkit and would encourage all agricultural businesses to see how it could benefit them and their employers.”
Speaking at the launch, Lantra Scotland’s Director, Liz Barron-Majerik, explained: “Training and skills development are vital to the success of businesses, especially those which want to attract and keep skilled workers, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
This toolkit has been designed to help employers find out how to gain access to the best potential employees and make the whole process of training as straightforward as possible.”
Mr Hepburn also met a group of Modern Apprentices from agriculture, land-based engineering, trees and timber and aquaculture, who are also Lantra Scotland industry champions.
The Skills for Farming Group consists of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, SRUC, Lantra, Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs, Royal Highland Education Trust, Skills Development Scotland, Borders College, Scottish Government and JobFarm. They work together to ensure that the skills and training needs of the agricultural sector are met.
See photographs from the event here.