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Farming Connect’s skills application window opens as face-to-face training resumes

FARMING Connect’s face-to-face training is underway again. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, although it’s not quite ‘training as usual’ as yet for Farming Connect, face-to-face training courses are now available provided all the current pandemic guidelines are adhered to. Where feasible, a range of methods will continue to be incorporated into the usual training delivery, in order to minimise face-to-face contact.


The next skills application window will open from 09:00 Monday, 3 May to 17:00 Friday, 25 June. Kevin Thomas, director of Lantra Wales, is expecting take-up levels to be high.


“Since the start of the current Farming Connect programme in 2015, Lantra Wales has handled more than 9,000 applications for short training courses, which are an important part of Farming Connect’s lifelong learning and development provision and which by today, have done so much to help registered farmers and foresters strengthen a wide range of skills to improve personal and business performance,” said Mr Thomas.


Whilst the programme has supported a large number of applications to date, for the remainder of 2021, priority will be given to those applicants who have not previously applied for this type of Farming Connect training. Applications will be limited to one per registered individual, with a maximum of two applications per business.


“Although we have been able to deliver a large number of training options online throughout the pandemic by using a variety of digital platforms, the telephone and home-working materials, we hope that as the virus situation improves, people are now feeling more confident about face-to-face training, which for certain courses, is still the most popular and most suitable way of learning.


“Acquiring new personal, business and technical skills will be especially beneficial for those who are considering the need to adapt their business model due to the changed market forces caused by the pandemic and the new trading conditions resulting from Brexit, so I urge you all to get your applications in during the next window,” said Mr Thomas.


Broadly categorised into Farming Connect’s key themes of ‘business’, ‘livestock’ and ‘land’, all short courses are subsidised by up to 80%.


In relation to Covid-19 requirements, training providers will be required to clearly communicate expected behaviours to learners including the need to keep records for track and trace, social distancing requirements, hygiene requirements such as regular and thorough hand washing, promotion of the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, what to do if they feel unwell, and what to do if they have concerns.


Anyone planning to apply for training during the next window who is not already registered, should contact the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813 before 17.00 Monday 21 June 2021.


For further information about all Farming Connect skills and training, Storfa Sgiliau, the secure online data storage tool for continuous professional development, or to view an online version of the ‘Step by step’ guidance booklet on applying for skills and e-learning, visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnectskillsandtraining. Alternatively, contact your local Farming Connect development officer, the Farming Connect Service Centre or your selected training provider.

Farming Connect, which is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra, has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

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