New opportunities are available to farmers in Wales who want to improve their technical skills and business knowledge with 21 new courses now added to Farming Connect’s training programme.
Businesses and individuals registered with Farming Connect can apply for 80% funding off the cost of a broad range of courses, from learning to maximise the potential of grasslands for food production and ecosystem services to body condition scoring livestock.
The training programmes cover a range of skills and aims to help farmers and horticulturalists run resilient, sustainable businesses.
Among the 21 added to the existing training portfolio is a module on livestock nutrition, covering everything from evaluating feeds to the role of minerals and vitamins and applying this knowledge to ration formulation. This module is at CQFW Level 7.
For farmers who want to brush up on their grassland skills, the grassland systems programme will look at strategies for grazing and forage preservation, and the ecosystem services and management requirements of a range of grassland systems.
A one day, face-to-face course on body condition scoring will teach participants how and when to score cows effectively, and a certificate will be awarded to those who successfully complete the module.
With wildflower meadows now integrated into many farming systems, there is the option of a one or two day on-site course to help participants develop an understanding of the basic ecology of these and how to maximise the diversity inherent within these natural systems.
Meanwhile the extensive spread of a number of invasive plant species in the environment prompted a course on appropriate control methods for plants including giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed.
Other approved courses include: ILM Level 2 in Leadership and Team skills; Digital Marketing Strategy; Level 2 award in the Safe Use and Application of Pesticides PA3; IOSH working safely; Environmental Sustainability Skills for the Workforce; and many more.
From September 2023 onwards, all Farming Connect learners will be required to complete fully funded mandatory e-learning courses ahead of applying for more than half of the programme’s subsidised accredited training courses.
“Learning the basics through relevant e-learning will be an essential pre-requirement before any registered individual can apply for selected accredited training,” said Becky Summons who manages Farming Connect’s animal health and welfare and e-learning service.
Topics where this will apply include Health & Safety, business, pesticide safety, cattle lameness and herd fertility.
“Undertaking a short but relevant e-learning module before they undertake practical face-to-face training will give learners confidence and a beneficial head-start, so that they have the relevant basic knowledge and information they need beforehand,” said Ms. Summons.
For further details on how to apply for these courses and others visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnect or contact your Local Development Officer.