The Next Generation Practical Training Fund aims to support new entrants to farming by providing the opportunity for skills development and training on the practicalities of agricultural practice as well as wider business and sustainability skills.
There is a clear need for more new entrant focussed training. There are a range of evolving issues and challenges in the sector, and it is key that those working in agriculture get the right training, if they are to adapt to these changing requirements and if we are to meet our net zero and biodiversity targets. It is particularly important that the next generation have access to improved knowledge, knowhow and skills, as the challenges we face are not short-term.
The aims of the fund are to:
- Encourage more new, and prospective new entrants/next generation to uptake training courses (with a particular focus on: climate change adaptation and mitigation practices, and biodiversity/habitats improvement, but also other equally important areas such as health and safety; equipment training; business efficiency and resilience
- Enable those less financially able to access key training; support; and equal opportunity for those looking for jobs in the sector
- Encourage a more flexible and individual approach to training support
- Support employability and a sustainable rural workforce.
What kind of courses can I apply for?
Courses eligible for funding are badged as such in Skills Hub Scotland. On a case-by-case basis, we are happy to consider individual modules or units from full-time courses, if they relate to agricultural production. Other courses available through Skills Hub Scotland will also be considered if you can demonstrate the relevance and value of the training here.
Training outwith Scotland will be supported if there is no Scotland-based equivalent.
Who is eligible to apply?
The Next Generation Practical Training Fund offers financial support to those resident in Scotland who are:
- Newcomers into the agricultural sector
- Those who would have been unable to undertake training without financial support
- Those who would have been unable to undertake a (possibly additional) formal qualification.
There is no age limit for applicants to the Next Generation Training Fund as agriculture attracts both mature new entrants and school leavers.
Criteria for applications
This funding aims to support those who have started on their agricultural career path within the last 5 years, and/or are undergoing or have just completed formal sector-related education. It will do this by providing the opportunity for skills development and training on the practicalities of small producer practice as well as wider business skills.
It is open to anyone resident in Scotland who is either already working in or studying agriculture, full-time or part-time, or who is keen to start. In your application you should explain how the training will support the development of you or your business. We welcome applications from remote rural and island communities.
While priority will be given to new applicants, you can continue making applications to develop your skills over several months, as long as you only apply for a maximum of one course a month.
- 100% funding is available for training up to the value of £500 per course
- You can apply for training that is more than £500, but you will have to fully explain the value of the training to you or your business in your application form
What will NOT be funded
The Fund is aimed at supporting individuals who would otherwise not have access to training and development courses.Training that would NOT be funded includes:
- that which is a statutory requirement for the individual’s continuing employment
- anything an individual is required to undertake to retain existing employment
If you would like guidance on your eligibility, what you can apply for, or any part of the funding application process, email us.
How much can I apply for?
Funding for 100% of costs is available for training up to the value of £500 per course.
Applications for training over the value of £500 will still be accepted and will be assessed depending on the value to the individual or business. These applications will be discussed and reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Review Panel.
How quickly will I hear back from you?
Applications over £500 and those which require further discussion will be considered at our monthly Review Panel meetings.
At the latest, we will aim give you a decision within five working days of the panel meeting. We may ask you for more information so we can look at your application again at a future meeting.
Can I apply for more than one course?
You can only apply for one course each month, but you can apply for different courses over several months.
What courses are eligible?
Courses eligible for funding are those which carry the Next Generation badge. Other courses available through Skills Hub Scotland will also be considered if you can demonstrate the relevance and value of the training here.
Can I get funding for a test?
Because this is a training fund, it doesn’t cover standalone tests, but you can apply for funding if your training course includes an assessment or test.
What happens if I am unable to attend the course?
If you fail to attend training with no reasonable notice, you may be liable for the full costs of the replacement booking.
Who will assess my application?
Our Review Panel is made up of representatives from the Scottish Government (which is funding the training), and from Lantra Scotland who have knowledge of accredited training and delivery. Where required, the panel will draw on internal and external specialist advice.
Is there a deadline for completing the training?
Once we confirm that you are getting funding, you have six months to complete the training. In exceptional circumstances this may be extended.
Is there anything else I need to know before applying?
You can find the full terms and conditions for applications made through the Skills Hub here.
Applying for the fund
Call us now on 01738 310159 or visit Skills Hub to find out more.