O’Neill launches £3m Farm Family Key Skills scheme

Lynn Anderson, 10 year old Faye Anderson, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill and pig farmer Gary Anderson. The FFKS is the next stage of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS), which is being delivered under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.
Lynn Anderson, 10 year old Faye Anderson, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill and pig farmer Gary Anderson. The FFKS is the next stage of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS), which is being delivered under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has launched the Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) training programme.

The FFKS is the next stage of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS), which is being delivered under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme. The scheme will offer farmers and their families short courses to address DARD priority areas of work, for example; business planning, animal health, health and safety and ICT. Minister O’Neill has allocated £3m to the training programme.

Pig farmer Gary Anderson, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill and employee Michaela Quinn from Ardboe.

Pig farmer Gary Anderson, DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill and employee Michaela Quinn from Ardboe.

Launching the FFKS on the farm of pig farmer Gary Anderson in Stewartstown, Co Tyrone, Minister O’Neill said: “I am delighted that the tendering process is now open for the delivery of the Farm Families Key Skills training programmes, with the first event taking place next month.

“This is the second programme to open under the Knowledge Transfer element of the Farm Business Improvement Scheme. It aims to provide training for farmers who may not be able to commit the time required for participation in the Business Development Groups.

“Farm Family Key Skills will offer a range of training courses in key areas such as business planning; health and safety; animal health and new technologies. The aim is to equip farmers with key skills that will improve decision-making and farm business management to help them meet the challenges that the industry is currently facing. I encourage farmers to apply for the courses that are most appropriate to their business needs.”

The tendering process for the FFKS is now open, with the first training event taking place next month on the area of animal health for pig farmers

Pig farmer Gary Anderson, from Stewartstown, Co Tyrone, welcomed the forthcoming training programme. He said: “I look forward to finding out more about the courses on offer as part of Farm Family Key Skills. The training will be of interest to farmers, like me, who would like to attend short courses on key areas of animal health.”

The first training programme will be on Animal Health for Pig Farmers and will start in early April 2016. Other training courses will follow on the topics of Farm Health and Safety and Business Planning.

More information about the roll out of the training programmes will be available in the local press and on the CAFRE website at http://www.cafre.ac.uk in due course.