The Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund has been established by Scottish Government to support the personal development of women and girls aged thirteen years and older, providing them with additional skills to progress their careers and employment opportunities in Scottish agriculture beyond their current role.
One of the key findings of research into women in the agriculture sector was that there was a clear need for more access to, and uptake of, vocational, practical training for women across the industry.
“We want more women in agriculture to have opportunities to develop their skills and talents. As well as supporting our Fair Work agenda, ensuring the sector is accessible to women will help to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of Scotland’s rural economy" (Programme for Government (2019-20).
The aim of the fund is to:
1. Provide women and girls in Scotland with additional skills to progress their careers
2. Open up new employment opportunities for them in Scottish agriculture beyond their current role
3. Support women and girls from the islands and remote rural areas, by providing them with the opportunity to access training, which they would otherwise be unable to do.
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 Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund offers financial support to women and girls aged thirteen and older who are resident in Scotland and:
- Are newcomers who wish to pursue a career within the agricultural sector
- Who would have been unable to undertake training without financial support
- Who would have been unable to undertake a (possibly additional) formal qualification.
There is no age limit for applicants as agriculture attracts both mature new entrants and school leavers.
Criteria for applications
The Women in Agriculture Practical Training Fund offers financial support to women or girls aged thirteen or older who are resident in Scotland and who meet at least one of the following criteria:
- They are working in Scottish agriculture or are keen to join the industry
- They are on a full-time or part-time agriculture course.
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
- Additional travel and accommodation costs will be offered to women and girls living on islands, or in remote rural areas, where the additional costs could prevent them from attending the training
What will NOT be funded
The fund is aimed at supporting individual women or girls aged thirteen or over in Scottish agriculture who would otherwise not have access to training and development courses.
It is NOT designed to support larger agricultural employers, who ought to be investing in the training and development needs of all their staff and should have a staff development budget allocated to cover these needs.
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
- any training which the Fund advisory group considers that an employer could and should provide for, including training for their current role.
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. They 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 fortnightly 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 Women in Agriculture 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 a representative from the Scottish Government (which is funding the training), together with representatives 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