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Farming Connect’s new skills and training programme will help you and your business prepare for the future

ARE you and your business operating efficiently, sustainably, safely and profitably or would accessing Farming Connect’s comprehensive range of training options help get you up to speed?

Would additional skills or knowledge help prepare both you and your business for the future when the industry focus will be on delivering greater sustainability, improved competitiveness and improved environmental performance?

Provided you are personally registered with Farming Connect, from Monday, 15 May onwards, you can apply for a short, accredited training course from a list of approximately 70 options, all funded by up to 80%, at a time to suit you. Those applying for training on handling machinery or vehicles will have to complete a fully-funded mandatory online Farming Connect Health & Safety course first.

Farming Connect’s new programme, which launched last month, is again being delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra Wales and will be funded by Welsh Government.

Available throughout Wales, the skills and training element will be delivered by a framework of approved training providers, offering an extended range of learning topics broadly categorised under ‘business’, ‘land’ and ‘livestock’, each reflecting the Welsh Government’s agricultural priorities on supporting sustainable land management.

Sarah Lewis, deputy director of Lantra Wales, explains that all training options will cover a comprehensive range of practical, technical and business topics.

“As the Welsh agriculture and horticulture industries prepare for the future, now could be the perfect time to identify which training will be of most benefit as you and your business prepare for the opportunities and any challenges which lie ahead.”

Short, accredited training courses, usually of one or two days’ duration, will range from training on business and financial matters to land management issues and from practical topics such as machinery and equipment courses to sector-specific animal health and welfare issues, which can have a significant effect on livestock performance and productivity.

“Taking time out to learn about new or more efficient or cost-effective ways of working always proves a very sound investment of time,” said Mrs. Lewis.

Farming Connect also offers a comprehensive range of fully funded e-learning courses, with almost 100 options provided in easy ‘bite-size’ online modules of around 20 minutes each, which you can undertake in your own time. A quiz at the end will tell you if you have absorbed all the key learning but if not, you can revisit the module as often as you need.

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Mrs Lewis explained that all training applications will be assessed at the end of every month.

“All applicants will be notified of their application outcome via their Farming Connect registered email within 10 working days and once approval is received, the applicant will then have nine months in which to complete the training course and any associated assessments.”

She emphasised that there is a straightforward online process to apply for all Farming Connect training via the Welsh Government’s BOSS website and ‘Sign on Cymru’.

“However, if anyone needs additional guidance or wants to check their eligibility, then they can either contact their local Farming Connect development officer, whose contacts are shown on the Farming Connect website, or call the Service Centre on 03456 000 813 – support is always available.

“Most registered individuals are already aware of Storfa Sgiliau, Farming Connect’s secure, online data storage facility, which is automatically updated when you complete either training or e-learning courses.

“Storfa Sgiliau will also help you and those who work with you, identify areas where you may benefit from learning a new skill or strengthening an existing one, so we look forward to receiving your application soon,” said Mrs. Lewis