Careers Special: Growing rural talent in the Scottish dairy industry

05 May 2021

05 May 2021

A new pilot scheme is underway to help create pathways into the Scottish dairy industry and grow talent within it.

As part of the Growing Rural Talent (GRT) - Pathway into Agriculture pilot, a SQA-approved course was developed and saw fifth year pupils spend one day a week on a dairy farm for the school year where they gained hands-on experience in a work-based environment to help make informed decisions about their education and career choices.

Supported by the Skills Development Scotland (SDS), NFU Scotland, SRUC and Dumfries and Galloway Council, the scheme comes after research from SDS found that despite a small increase in the total number of jobs in agriculture, there was a significant need to replace those retiring, especially within the dairy sector.

NFU Scotland’s skills development policy manager, George Jamieson, said the project had moved on with ’excellent support and interest from Stranraer to Berwick’ despite logistical and administrative issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The next stage is ambitious and will require more collaboration and new funding to consolidate and further develop the work in the South," he said.

"The aim now is to spread the concept across all sectors in agriculture and forestry, in all regions of Scotland.”