IF you want your farm business to perform at its best as the industry heads towards the uncertainties of Brexit, could this be a good time to invest in training and personal development skills?
Would your business benefit if you, members of your family or workforce took time out to get up to speed with the current best practice on topics ranging from shearing and lambing techniques to First Aid or Health & Safety?
Are you keen to streamline or improve systems for the management and financial side of your business? Could training help your business operate safely, more efficiently and more profitably?
Provided you are registered with Farming Connect, the current application window for applying for funding of up to 80% for skills and training is open now until Friday, 1 March 2019.
The next application window will open from Monday,3 June until Friday, 28 June and this year’s final window will open on Monday, 7 October until Friday, 1 November 2019.
Before you submit an online application for funding, you must have an up to date Farming Connect ‘personal development plan’ (PDP) which will help you identify current strengths or any gaps in your knowledge.
Armed with your PDP, you can set out your training goals and update the online document as you achieve each milestone.
You will also know what training to apply for, with over 60 accredited course titles available within the ‘business improvement’, ‘technical’ and ‘machinery and equipment use’ categories.
The online PDP process is short and straightforward, but assistance is available either from your Farming Connect development officer or your selected training provider.
In addition, Farming Connect provides support through interactive PDP workshops held throughout Wales. Dates and locations are shown on the Farming Connect website.
The training element of Farming Connect’s Lifelong Learning and Development programme is delivered by Lantra Wales. Since 2015, more than 3,200 individuals have undertaken short, accredited training courses funded by up to 80%, making it an attractive and beneficial proposition for many businesses and their workers.
Director of Lantra Wales, Kevin Thomas, says the programme is transforming both the personal and business skills of many farmers and foresters in Wales.
“It is very encouraging that we are seeing a steady year-on-year increase in the number of applications for business development training,” said Mr. Thomas who emphasised that before you can complete your PDP or submit an online funding application form you must be registered with Farming Connect.
“Once registered you will receive your individual registration e-mail confirming your BOSS website details.
“This e-mail will contain the information you need to log in to BOSS via Sign On Cymru (SOC) and then you are ready to proceed with completing or updating your PDP and submit a funding application.”
Visit the Farming Connect website to access a list of all accredited ‘face to face’ training courses together with a list of approved training providers; information on Farming Connect’s range of more than 70 fully funded e-learning courses; guidance on completing the PDP and the funding application form.
Anyone planning to apply for funding to complete a machinery and equipment use related course will need to complete Farming Connect’s free online Health and Safety course first.
Farmers and foresters wanting to apply for funding for training during the current application window who are not already registered with Farming Connect will need to do so by contacting the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813 by 5 pm Monday 25 February 2019 at the latest.
If you require any further information about Farming Connect training, services and events which could benefit you and your business, contact your local Farming Connect development officer or the Farming Connect Service Centre on 08456 000 813. Alternatively, visit www.gov.wales/farmingconnect