The Moorskills apprentices have started their Autumn programme of off the job training with an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) course focusing on driving ATV’s safely across upland terrain at Tor Royal, Princetown.
The Moorskills Apprenticeship has been developed by the farming community of Dartmoor to ensure that the knowledge and skills required to farm the National Park are transferred to the next generation of young farmers.
The scheme is a collaboration between Dartmoor Farmers working within the umbrella of the Moorskills Farming Project Ltd, Dartmoor Hill Farm Project (Dartmoor National Park Authority) and Duchy College. The apprentices attend Duchy College at Stoke Climsland for core elements relating to livestock farming, cropping and machinery use. This is complemented by a Dartmoor specific programme of training that will be delivered by specialists from and on Dartmoor. A range of skills from driving ATV’s and maintaining stone walls will be covered through this bespoke apprenticeship programme.
Adam Partridge, Moorskills apprentice, said: “We really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot, it has certainly corrected some ‘bad habits’ we had. It was interesting to learn about how the nose weight of trailed loads and tyre pressures can impact on steering.”
Roger Clarke, Team Lead for WBL Agriculture at Duchy College, said: “There is a shortage of skilled labour on the moor and the collaboration between ourselves, Dartmoor Farmers and the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project is helping to improve this. The ATV course was a great success and covered the skills and knowledge required to operate these machines safely.”
If any farmers on Dartmoor would like to know more about Moorskills please contact Sandra Dodd within the Dartmoor Hill Farm Project. Equally if any farmer in the Poundsgate area would consider taking on an Apprentice there is a young lad seeking employment. Please make contact if you would like more information.