Young starter courses become high priority

30 April 1999

Young starter courses become high priority

TRAINING and transport must be overhauled if young people are to prosper in rural areas.

So CLA president Ian MacNicol told the agricultural forum, calling on government to inject new money into the Rural Starters Register.

The register – run by the CLA and TFA in conjunction with YFCs – aims to ensure young farmers get a fair hearing when seeking tenancies. Some, however, lack the interview and planning skills to do their case full justice, said Mr MacNicol. And courses to combat this should be provided.

On-the-job training was difficult, as getting to a training centre can be expensive and time-consuming in rural areas. The highest-spending urban council spent eight times as much, per person, on transport than their rural counterparts, claimed Mr MacNicol.

Fuel costs were a key area. "We shall continue our attack on the government and the petrol tax which has been so disastrous for rural areas. A motor car in rural areas is not a luxury – it is an essential."

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