An exciting partnership between The Prince’s Countryside Fund, FarmCornwall and Duchy College has given six unemployed young people from Cornwall the chance to try out farming as a career by taking part in a hands-on Agricultural training programme.
The two-week project saw them undergo a week of practical training at Duchy College where they learnt tractor driving skills and worked with livestock. This was followed by a week of work experience on local farms, organised for them by the farming help charity, FarmCornwall. The project was also supported by the Liskeard branch of Mole Valley Farmers who kitted the trainees out with the work wear they needed.
Team Lead for Work Based Agriculture at Duchy College, Roger Clarke said: “This project is a great opportunity for the college to support youngsters who are currently out of employment and looking to seek employment within the agricultural sector. This two week programme really does help to get the basic skills in place in order get a foot on the ladder and to start a career within this sector.”
At the end of the programme there was a ceremony where the six individuals were presented with certificates for their achievement by Sheep Shearing World Record Holder, Matt Smith.
Director at Farm Cornwall, Debbie Evans, said: “Farming offers great career opportunities but many young people have no idea what goes on beyond the farm gate so never consider the industry as a potential employer. This project has enabled a group of young people to experience what it is really like to work on a farm and learn about the training available. We have been delighted to facilitate the project with the support of The Prince’s Countryside Fund and we hope that the trainees will now consider a career in farming via the apprenticeship scheme available through Duchy College.”
The Prince’s Countryside Fund aims to improve the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life and since established in 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales, has distributed over £7 million to 182 projects across the UK, helping more than 200,000 people.
Clare Crookenden, grants manager for The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “We’re delighted to be able to support these young people with the opportunity to gain new skills and forge a new career in rural management and we look forward to following their journey. Our partnership with FarmCornwall has provided a great opportunity to continue our work to inspire more young people to consider a rural or agricultural career and make a real difference in their local community.”