New work experience programme to inspire next generation of Dumfries and Galloway farmers

A new pilot programme aiming to support young people in Dumfries and Galloway seeking work experience in the agriculture sector has been launched.

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has provided support for Tarff Valley Limited’s six-week full time work experience programme which will help 15 young people in the region who are interested in pursuing a career in agriculture.

Agricultural merchant Tarff Valley, based in Castle Douglas, currently offers Pre-Apprenticeships and Modern Apprenticeships in Agriculture - and hope the new six-week voluntary programme will help encourage even more young people into the Land-Based sector.

The programme is an ideal opportunity for young people from a non-farming background to determine whether a career in agriculture is right for them – before having to commit to a longer-term programme, such as a Pre-Apprenticeship or Modern Apprenticeship.

The latest programme has been supported by funding of £17,500 from SOSE and £2,000 from Developing the Young Workforce Dumfries and Galloway.

The new work experience programme will also benefit its student participants – who will be able to work with their training providers and colleges to reflect on the skills and knowledge they have learnt on the six-week programme and identify the correct career pathway for them accordingly.

If the pilot project is a success, the business hopes that it will provide evidence for future funding routes.

Tracey McEwan, Services Coordinator at Tarff Valley, said:

 “We are pleased to announce this exciting project in partnership with SOSE and DYW Dumfries and Galloway, alongside Let’s Get Employed (Let’s Get Sporty).

 “The programme will support young people to gain a real insight into the agriculture sector and gain valuable work experience and accredited training to support them into their chosen career.”

Sharon Ogilvie, Community Development Specialist at SOSE, said:

 “We are very pleased to be working with Tarff Valley to help them deliver this inaugural work experience programme for young people interested in a career in farming. 

“Participants on the programme will have a fantastic opportunity to gain skills, experience and knowledge first-hand before committing to a career in the industry – which should help them decide whether it is the correct career path for them.

“We hope this will lead to more candidates entering and enjoying a successful career in the agriculture sector.”

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, SOSE Chair, added:

“Creating a wide range of employment opportunities for the people of the South is a key priority for SOSE and an integral part of our Fair Work commitment. 

“As such, we are delighted to support the launch of this pilot project. 

“Agriculture is an incredibly important industry in the South of Scotland and we hope this programme helps inspire a new generation of farmers in the region.”