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Royal Agricultural University receives £50,000 to help young people into work

The Royal Agricultural University has received a grant of £50,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund to help local young people into training and future employment.

The money will go towards a three-year programme within the RAU’s Rural Skills Centre which offers professional courses in traditional skills, and aims to help up to 90 young people from the surrounding area.

James Foster, Training Manager at the RAU, said the project aimed to fund a range of courses, from Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications, to one-day skills courses.

“The Rural Skills Centre aims to address the opportunities for 90 local young people without qualifications. These young people, who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs), may have had a negative experience of school, and we hope to provide an opportunity for them to get onto the employment ladder,” he said.

“Activities will consist of practical training covering a range of countryside skills, and the young people will have access to a range of short courses, typically from one to three days duration.

“Our target is for all students to enter full employment or enrolment on apprenticeship schemes or advanced training. We are taking a flexible approach rather than a prescriptive one and will try to adapt to the needs of our students,” he said.

The training programmes consist of 40-60 short courses, of typically one to two days, and it is anticipated that around 30 students will achieve Level 1 and 2 qualifications in areas such as dry stone walling, land-based activities, grooms skills and beekeeping.

“We were delighted to have received this grant from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, which will help the RAU continue to make a positive impact on the employment prospects of young people in our local area,” said Mr Foster.

The grant is among a series of announcements that saw the allocation of £560,000 of funds towards training, rural communities, low income farms and to help combat rural isolation.

Victoria Harris, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, said: “The Royal Agricultural University has long been recognised for its contribution to agriculture. We are very pleased to be able to assist with their efforts in getting young people on the road to employment in the rural sectors.”


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