A government-backed skills charity is the latest agency to offer a hand to the agricultural industry as Covid-19 infections continue to soar and put critical farm work in jeopardy.
Lantra Scotland’s skills matching service (SMS) was unveiled just 24 hours after the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society launched its initiative to link experienced workers with farmers who may be in need of labour in the weeks to come.
The SMS aims to ensure agricultural businesses which need help to continue to meet their day-to-day work and animal welfare obligations are able to find workers with relevant skills and experience.
Lantra director Liz Barron-Majerik said her organisation wanted to hear from anyone with skills and experience in agriculture, animal care and machine operation who is looking for work, a career change, or even those who are just willing to lend a hand if needed.
She added: “This new service should make it easier for employers and potential employees with the right skills to get in touch with each other in these challenging times.”
Lantra and the Scottish Government have already called on vet schools and agricultural colleges to contact students who may be available to help out and ask them to register directly with Lantra.
Key skills in demand include telehandler operators, tractor drivers and livestock handlers.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said the service had the potential to enable everyone with livestock to get the labour support and help they need during the pandemic.
“Our students and staff from colleges and universities, vets and vet nurses furloughed or made redundant, and individuals with relevant transferable skills and experience can play a critical role in offering support in the coming weeks and months,” he said.
The farmers’ union has also backed the service. NFU Scotland policy manager Penny Middleton said the hub would help ensure those with the right skills can be easily identified.
To join the skills matching service, visit
. Lantra Scotland can also be contacted on 01738 310164.