From education to employment

Rural Talent programme sows the seeds of collaboration in the rural sector

Borders College Agriculture

@BordersCollege is renowned for its Rural Skills provision, leading the way in Agriculture, Land and Animal Management, Engineering and Gamekeeping course delivery, amongst many other areas.

As well as the current provision, new courses are continually being developed to help meet the needs of the growing rural economy and a new and exciting course for 20/21 is about to start.

The Growing Rural Talent Landbased Workplace Skills Award will support learners to develop practical forestry, agriculture, animal handling and estate management skills. Learners will also learn about career pathways in the rural sector.

Life and workplace core skills will also be delivered including, employability, managing Finances, preparing for employment and IT skills.

Extended work placements for school-age learners will be in relevant farming and forestry business, as part of their award, with the College expecting these to start as soon as Covid restrictions are eased.

Hamish Morison Poultry is one such company who have provided work placement opportunities. David Wilson, Company Farms Manager, who has supported the College in the delivery of their Animal Care course, commented:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain hands-on, practical experience within the industry. Not only does it teach the skills associated with the sector but teaches the students how to adapt to the workplace. Things like timekeeping, health and safety, hygiene all come into play which helps to give the students a well-rounded overall experience.”

The qualification will open doors to many rural sector areas, including agriculture and animal health and welfare, and students will have the choice of studying optional units in their preferred areas.

Mary Thomson, Curriculum Learning Manager for Rural Skills, commented:

“This is the second year where Borders College Rural Skills have been fortunate enough to work with Hamish Morison Poultry. As a business they have supported this work placement award in addition to providing excellent guest lectures to our school academy pupils. We hope to continue to work in partnership to introduce young talent to the poultry sector in the future.”

School learners interested in the forestry sector will undertake production of young trees; work environment maintenance and woodland management as part of their course, developing skills relevant to the forestry sector.

Borders College Growing Rural Talent Borders Project Co-ordinators are working to identify local businesses who are keen to provide work placement opportunities for school pupils and students. 

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