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Recruitment and training initiative in Scotland is making fantastic progress Image

Recruitment and training initiative in Scotland is making fantastic progress

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

In 2018,  Trustees of the Racing Foundation met with racing industry stakeholders in Scotland to discuss issues surrounding recruitment and retention of staff. One outcome of the meeting was identifying the need to create a sustainable education and training provision to improve recruitment, skills and retention of racing staff in Scotland.

As a result, the Racing Foundation funded a feasibility study and subsequent development plan that resulted in the set up of the Scottish Racing Academy, representing a collaboration between Scottish Racing, Scottish industry stakeholders and Scottish education partners.

We are delighted to report that great progress was made during 2019, including the appointment of Eleanor Boden as full-time project manager; research and consultation to understand the issues and the needs; the development of a detailed business plan and funding strategy; the set-up of the Scottish Racing Academy as a registered charity; the development of a number of high quality industry qualifications and training provision to meet need and the exploration of partnerships with education providers and funders. 

As a result, the Scottish Racing Academy aims to provide learner-based training for anyone who would like to learn the skills required to gain employment in one of many roles in racing, as well for anyone who already works in the horseracing industry and wishes to upskill their knowledge. The new qualifications, validated by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) have all been designed to provide choice to learners whilst nurturing talent and include:

  • National Progression Award in Horse Care (Racing) (SQCF Level 4) - designed to be delivered alongside school
  • National Certificate in Racehorse Care (SQCF level 5)
  • National Progression Award in Racing: Yard Routine (SQCF level 5)
  • National Progression Award in Thoroughbred Preparation and Riding (SQCF level 5)
  • National Progression Award in Exercise and Performance (SQCF level 5)
  • National Progression Award in Specialist Racehorse Care (SQCF level 5)
  • National Progression Award in Care of racing athlete (horse and human) (SQCF level 6)

The qualifications have been written to allow for multiple, positive exit routes for candidates depending upon their aspirations and preferences. The content of each qualification is aligned to the National Occupational Standards in order that employers’ needs are met and industry accepted skills and qualities are developed by the candidate with an increased focus on horse welfare.

We are delighted to provide further funding for 2020 to enable the Scottish Racing Academy to pilot the courses and qualifications, which will be delivered with partners including Borders Central; Developing Young Learners; Borders High Schools; Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and Borders College. Some Government funding has also been secured, with the hope of attracting further funding following proof of concept.

We very much look forward to reporting on progress being made throughout 2020.

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