Employers across the wide spectrum of Scotland's rural industries are being offered the chance to influence the future shape of workforce teaching and training at the country's premier landbased vocational
Oatridge College is launching the Scottish Rural Employers' Forum with an inaugural meeting on Thursday, May 24, 2012. It is planned to
become an annual event at which businesses and organisations, whatever their size or industry sector, will have the opportunity to hear what is on offer in
employee education and development, but more importantly, have their say on what the academics should be doing to best meet their needs.
The event, which is being held in partnership with Skills Development Scotland, builds on the successful work of the College's industrial liaison groups, which
have and will continue to concentrate on specific sectors like agriculture, horticulture, animal care, countryside management, equestrianism, horticulture and
Brian Williams, the College Business Training Manager and part of the team which drew up plans for the Forum, says: "We are fully committed to expanding the range of employers we are working with, because we want to maximise, where possible, the
opportunities for young people to benefit from the opportunities available through Skills Development Scotland's Modern Apprenticeship programme.
"We want to hear from employers what we can do for them and for their employees, including future employees, while bringing them up to date with what we are
already doing and of course, giving them an excellent opportunity to network with other businesses in their own and other sectors."
Planning for the creation of the Forum has been going on for some time, but the date chosen for the launch is midway through Skills Development Scotland's
Apprenticeship Week. "We thought that with events happening all over the country during Apprenticeship Week, it would be an excellent platform for the
first meeting of the Forum," says Brian Williams. "The College fully supports the Scottish Government's drive to encourage more people into vocational
education and training and grow the Modern Apprenticeships scheme and we are delighted that one of our speakers on Thursday will be Danny Logue, Skills
Development Scotland‘s Operations Director."
Danny Logue says: "Many rural employers have quite specific challenges, which make the flexibility of the modern apprenticeship programme particularly beneficial. Smaller employers operating on tight margins recognise the advantage of having
an apprentice contributing to productivity from day one, while learning the specialisms of their employer."
Brian Williams adds: "It is important to emphasise the good things that have been done for a number of years here at
Oatridge. Our message is that we will continue to serve our community, locally and nationally. Thursday's event, we hope, will build on existing relationships
and open up new ones among employers we haven't worked with in the past."
Registration for the forum is from 0930 on Thursday, May 24, and the event will conclude, after networking and a buffet lunch, at 1330. Anyone interested in attending should contact Marketing Officer Emilia Barrero on 01506 864800 or by email: email@example.com