A NEW Level 6 equestrian traineeship for people who want to work in a managerial role within the sport horse industry is now taking applications for a start date at the end of January.
The QQI Level 6 course is the brainchild of Ballina producer and businessman Tiernan Gill and will be run by the Mayo/Sligo board of the Educational Training Board (ETB) at the Ballina Training Centre in Co Mayo, running for 48 weeks from January 20th next.
“There is a huge demand in the industry for a high-class person who can run an equestrian facility,” Gill said, explaining the concept of the course. “For example, if someone was away at shows, they have a competent person at home who can run the business, look after the horses, enter for the show, do the marketing of the horses, take good videos, look after the land, look after the training of the young horses, be able to drive the truck, and so on.”
The year-long full-time course will include 14 weeks of work experience in a yard, as well as teaching in equine nutrition, equine theory, sport horse riding, communication, equine anatomy and physiology, digital media, first aid and heavy good vehicle driving, among others.
Gill, who will also be involved in the teaching of the course, said the prospect of employment on completion of the programme looks very promising. “Our plan is to try and get people jobs once they complete the course. Some of the riders abroad are crying out for people with these skills, there is a huge demand, and in Ireland as well. The outcome with regards employment looks really good,” he said.
Up to 16 applicants will be accepted in year one and while they do not need to have any other education or qualifications, they must have a motivation to learn and a keen interest in the industry. A person who is on social welfare will continue to receive their benefit and have the course paid for them.
“We are looking for people who want the commitment of a course and who want a career in this industry. It is open to anyone over the age of 18 who has a car licence.
“They need to have a car licence and we do the rest,” added Gill, who is also the head of the Gill Group, a company which incorporates a driving school, gas and oil company, bedding and the sale of showing and show jumping horses.
Those interested in finding out more about the programme can attend the open day on December 5th in Ballina, or CLICK HERE.