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Ringlink proposes funding for farmer mentors

Ringlink hopes to have a simulator in place for industry trainees next year.

Farmers who are prepared to act as mentors to young trainees could enjoy funding in future if a proposal by Ringlink Scotland is backed by government.

The Laurencekirk-based  co-operative, which has almost 3000 members and operates Scotland’s pre-apprenticeship pilot programme, has struggled to find enough mentors to meet demand from potential trainees and has called on the Scottish Government to support their plans.

Ringlink’s managing director, Graham Bruce told the co-op’s online annual meeting that he was optimistic government would support the continuation of  the pre-apprenticeship scheme which is  nearing the end of a successful three-year pilot.

The 2021  trainees who started the land-based pre-apprenticeship programme.

He said: “There are quite a few of our members who don’t employ anyone but would be  ideal mentors for youngsters, but their business can’t  justify taking anyone on.

“If we get a bit of funding we feel it would open up more opportunities for youngsters  on units  that couldn’t otherwise justify them. We’re waiting for feedback.”


Meanwhile, Ringlink’s  training manager, Peter Wood, told the meeting the business was exploring the possibility of using simulators to deliver training in order to address the diverse nature of clients and the industries in which the business operates.

“They offer a dynamic training opportunity where  the environment remains constant with little or no distraction, novice operators are provided with the confidence there is  no chance of damage  to machinery and the cost of operation is significantly less than a  conventional machine. Its clearly environmentally friendly  with an exceedingly low  carbon footprint.

“Simulator training also combines well with our  existing pre-apprenticeship model as we can offer introductory training  to our future workforce.”


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