OPENING DOORS TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Current economic conditions are tough on businesses everywhere, so to help those working within Wales’ environmental and land-based industries, Lantra Sector Skills Council is throwing open the doors of its Builth Wells office during the Royal Welsh Show (July 19-22).

Industry experts, training providers and staff from the Farming Connect Skills Development Programme are working together so that the show’s visitors can easily find out about the training and support that is available to the sector, or ask about the many rewarding environmental and land-based careers, some of which will be demonstrated at the show. The personal experiences of some Farming Connect beneficiaries are to be told in a DVD being launched on the Tuesday, so why not stop by to hear what they have to say. Among those joining Lantra, during what is also National Veterinary Nursing Week, is experienced equine nurse and Lantra Skills Ambassador, Bonny Millar CVT(USA) RVN REVN MBVNA. Bonny is the British Veterinary Nursing Senior Vice President and will be joined by a team of veterinary nurses to answer people’s questions over the training and education of nurses and what happens in veterinary practices. Bonny says, “Veterinary nursing has grown so much over the years and so this week, which is also National Veterinary Nursing Week, is a great time to inform everyone just want it involves. As well as working with animals, nurses need good people skills, computer knowledge, amongst many others. “I will be there from Tuesday onwards to help people who are maybe thinking about a career in vet nursing but also those who want to continue their training. We will also be showing how health checks on horses are carried out to assess a horse’s condition prior to purchase or to spot early on if a change of routine or veterinary help is required.” Kevin Thomas, Lantra Sector Skills Council’s National Director for Wales, says, “Research following the last recession showed that businesses investing in training were two and half times more likely to succeed. Businesses should be taking advantage of the opportunities available to equip themselves with highly motivated, well-trained staff capable of raising productivity and controlling costs effectively.” You can find out more by visiting us either in person at the Royal Welsh Show, calling 01982 552646 or by visiting www.lantra.co.uk/wales. – ENDS – For more information or a photograph please contact: Mhairi Aikman, Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 02476 858 418 or email wales.media@lantra.co.uk. Editor’s notes Demonstrations include floristry from Sian Davies, Cwtta Inspirations, Rhayader, spinning by Leslie Wickham, Builth Wells, and wood turning by Gwynne Stevens based at Abbey-cym-hir. About Farming Connect • Farming Connect is funded through the Rural Development Plan 2007 – 2013, which is financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Assembly Government. • The Farming Connect’s Skills Development Programme, managed by Lantra Sector Skills Council, has the aim of improving the performance and prospects of farming and forestry businesses throughout Wales. It provides up to 80% funding of short accredited training courses. • Further information about Farming Connect can be found on the Welsh Assembly Government’s website: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingconnect/?lang=en About Lantra  Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based industries, is licensed by the UK government to drive forward the new skills, training and business development agenda for the sector. In Wales, it represents over 18,500 businesses, across 17 industries, 99% of which are micro-businesses employing less than ten people, with 94% employing four or less. Their 85,000 employees represent 7.5 per cent of the UK’s total environmental and land-based workforce. For more information see www.lantra.co.uk.  The sector is vital to the Welsh economy as tourism associated to the Welsh environment is estimated to be worth £821million and support 23,600 jobs. Another 117,000 jobs are required to manage our natural environment in Wales.  Much of the land-based workforce is highly skilled in technical areas, with years of vocational experience and, often, family tradition, behind them. However, their skills are often unaccredited and their valuable experience not recognised. Lantra works to ensure that these skills and experience are recognised alongside formal qualifications and professional development and helps employers access “bite-sized” units of learning.  The 17 industries Lantra represents are clustered around: land management and production; animal health and welfare; cons rvation and management of the natural environment. As of 1 January 2010, all eligible businesses registered with Farming Connect became able to access 80% funding towards the cost of training through the Skills Development Programme managed by Lantra. The additional 30% contribution should encourage more farmers to take up the short accredited courses and free business skills assessment available to them. About National Veterinary Nursing Week 2010 (18-24 July)  National Veterinary Nursing Week has grown considerably since its launch in 2005.  National VN Week is about promoting the importance of the profession and its effect on the improvement of animal welfare through excellent nursing care.  The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) has a number of events throughout the UK to support this aim. About the Royal Welsh Show (19-22 July)  This four day event is the largest agricultural show in Europe. For further information visit www.rwas.co.uk/en/welsh-show/the-royal-welsh-show.

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