Pre-apprentices ready to start their placements

The 2024 Land-based Pre-apprenticeship got underway last month (June) with 28 young trainees completing a four-day block induction at the Scottish Rural College (SRUC) at Craibstone.

They are now set to start their six-month employment placements with mentor businesses from July onwards.

The programme is an ideal pathway for progression within the wider rural sector. Its ultimate aim is to help prepare young people for employment in agriculture and the wider rural sector and over the last 11 years, it’s achieved a lot.

  • 57% of participants are from a non-agricultural background & new entrants to the sector
  • 50% of trainees offered jobs on completing with mentor businesses
  • 33% of candidates have progressed on to further education (MAs, college, university)
  • 17% of candidates secured other employment

The recent residential induction for the 28 trainees involved a range of activities and certificated training – a Certificate of Work Readiness (SCQF4); health & safety risk assessment; emergency first aid, manual handling awareness; tractor driving (3 days); rough terrain telescopic forklift (3 days); crop production/livestock production.

This means they are all raring to go for their individual placements with an approved mentor business for 26 weeks. The work placement is fully paid, based on 40 hours per week. Payment for time worked is in accordance with the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board. Up to £1,500 of training is also offered to each candidate with an element of certified training tailored to individual needs.

We have 25 mentors confirmed to date although we are still requiring mentor businesses in the area surrounding Dingwall and Kirkcaldy.

Ringlink Scotland provides the day-to-day management of the programme, recruits and supports candidates along with the mentor businesses, and provides certified training for the trainees.

Please get in touch if you can help. You can find out more by contacting Gail Robertson of Ringlink Scotland on 01561 377790 or at

land-based pre-apprenticeship tractor training

Hear from some of this year’s pre-apprentices when they were completing their pre-placement training

  • Accredited by the Scottish Rural College (SRUC), the programme is currently funded by Scottish Government and administered by Skills Development Scotland, on an extended pilot basis.
2024 Land-based Pre-apprentices