UP to 10 jobs on stud farms will be created by the next edition of the ITBA Next Generation Apprenticeship Scheme.

The popular scheme has traditionally seen two apprentices gain paid work experience with four organisations or businesses across the industry over the course of a year.

However, responding to challenges of staff recruitment experienced by its members in recent times, the ITBA Next Generation has decided to make radical changes to the scheme.

With the focus now on career development, the following actions were agreed by the organisation:

  • Establishing a specific committee to oversee developments
  • Revamping the focus and timing of the apprenticeship scheme
  • Engaging with stud farm owners
  • Identifying and nurturing young people who are looking to join the work force as opposed to furthering their education at third level
  • Working with industry stakeholders to make a submission to the Government to secure a number of working visas for non EU citizens.
  • A robust marketing campaign will commence shortly to attract young entry level workers who have an interest in the industry.

    To date a number of meetings have taken place with the National Advocacy Network, which advocates on behalf of school leavers, and career guidance experts to gauge interest, and the feedback is positive.

    In addition, the ITBA is engaging with its membership base to ascertain the level of interest amongst extended family and friends wishing to take up entry level employment in the Irish thoroughbred industry.

    The process will require applicants to have a genuine interest in rural activity and, in particular, working with animals. If found suitable they will be required to undergo a period of induction in early January of 2019 before being placed on a stud farm for the remainder of the year.

    The programme envisages offering up to 10 individuals the opportunity of one year’s paid employment on a stud farm, with entry level salaries being equal to or above the minimum wage. Where practical, accommodation will be provided to the apprentices.

    Throughout the placement, they will learn the basic skills required to work on a stud farm. This will involve both personal and professional mentoring from the employer.

    The ITBA will conduct a number of seminars throughout the year to assist them. On completion of the year, the employer will have the option of providing full-time employment for the apprentice.

    Kerry Ryan of the ITBA said: “We have identified a problem with staffing in the industry, which we are making efforts to address. This is a wonderful opportunity for any young person with a passion for working with horses and an interest in agriculture and who is eager to commence employment as opposed to embarking on third level education. Our industry can offer a challenging and rewarding career.”

    Further information is available from Izzy Crosse at the ITBA office.

    Tel: 045 87753

    Email: icrosse@itba.ie