Rural career opportunities

An agricultural student at Kirkley Hall with newborn lambs.
An agricultural student at Kirkley Hall with newborn lambs.
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A new project has been launched to try to tackle the issue of matching rural young people with the jobs that are available.

There are opportunities available in land-based industries, with one estimate suggesting 60,000 new entrants are needed over the next decade, but young people aren’t necessarily choosing these career paths for various reasons.

Run by the Glendale Gateway Trust, working with the NFU, Land-based Careers For All is being led by Philippa Seccombe, from Alwinton, a specialist in training and development, who also lives and works on a sheep farm.

And she is keen to hear from either young people interested in exploring the options available to them or businesses who are willing to offer support, advice and offer work-experience placements or apprenticeships.

Philippa explained that the project, which is in its early stages, is about trying to get young people engaged and thinking about a career in land-based industries and then to match them with the right people for training, mentoring and, hopefully, work.

It will range from simpler things such as organising Open Farm Sundays so that young people can look and ask questions to work-experience placements to more major goals such as apprenticeships and qualifications.

It will involve working with young people, but also businesses and colleges.

One of the key issues that can affect access to training and gaining qualifications is transport, particularly in the county’s rural north.

For example, it could involve the teaching of core skills by college tutors at a convenient location such as Wooler’s Cheviot Centre.

Philippa said: “What’s really interesting is that nationally, industry and Government are now waking up to this problem and by working in partnership, we want to make a difference here in Northumberland.”

Contact Philippa on philippseccombe@gmail.com, 01669 650231 or 07747 345381.