Rural Workers Co-op

Creation of a cooperative of rural workers to meet the demand of South West Scotland

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Field Lab Timeline

    6/11/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • 1st group meeting

    1st group meeting
  • 6/12/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • LEADER application for funding

    LEADER application for funding
  • 6/29/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • Engagement with local stakeholders (agri and non-agri)

    Engagement with local stakeholders (agri and non-agri)
  • 7/30/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • Formation of wider group with further expertise

    Formation of wider group with further expertise
  • 9/12/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • Understand demand for potential activity and legal requirements

    Understand demand for potential activity and legal requirements
  • 9/24/2018 11:00:00 PM
  • Identify level of funding required/potential funders

    Ongoing throughout the course of the project.

    Identify level of funding required/potential funders
  • 12/31/2018 12:00:00 AM
  • Final project plan

    Final project plan
For further information hover over the above milestone marks
  • Discussion

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  • Achievements

    September 2018

    Model potential for a new business/extension of an existing business

    Depending on the outcome of funding and the route taken, there is the opportunity for the delivery of these outcome to be done with the support and hosted by an existing organisation in the area. More information on this to follow.

    Milestone: Identify level of funding required/potential funders

    September 2018

    Identify level of funding required/potential sources

    Funding for the pre-apprenticeship programme in the area would be in line with costs of that of Ringlink Scotland, and subsequently a funding application has been submitted to Scottish Government on behalf of the industry, supported by Lantra and Skills Development Scotland. Similarly, there would need to be a resource put in place to manage these programmes and any labour supply. There is funding available in Ayrshire which could possibly have been used, however in discussion with them this was not available to fund positions just other costs.

    This aspect of the group's work will be ongoing and updates will be given as they come.

    Milestone: Identify level of funding required/potential funders

    August 2018

    Undestanding the legislative requirement

    The group has found that, in order to employ staff and have them work on farms in the area, there would need to be a licensed body with the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority. There would also be a need for human resources expertise to ensure a good quality and fully compliant service was offered.

    Milestone: Understand demand for potential activity and legal requirements

    July 2018

    Engagement with local stakeholders

    Engagement with the group as well as SRUC and NFUS revealed that the group needed to take a step back and understand the lack of labour - much of this is due to the lack of availability of trained and motivated people, the understanding of agriculture as a career and the opportunities within it.

    With this in mind, during a period of two months the group visited a few places: first they visited Ringlink Scotland in Laurencekirk to hear about their “pre – apprenticeship” programme and understand the work they are doing. This highlighted an opportunity to increase the number of young people coming into the industry. In order to implement this programme in the South West there would need to be a local organisation who was willing to employ the pre-apprentices as well as manage the programme and undertake the administration. Meeting with Developing Young Workforce D & G also highlighted a potential gap in the training provision and the need for agriculture and rural businesses to appeal to young people in the area. The group also visited SRUC Barony to understand the training availability and options in the area. It was thought that any future work would likely be done in conjunction with SRUC.

    Milestone: Engagement with local stakeholders (agri and non-agri)

    June 2018

    Expression of Interest sent to LEADER

    Unfortunately the group Expression of Interest to LEADER was turned down, as currently there is no money left for Rural Development in Dumfries & Galloway. This is unlikely to change before 2020.

    Milestone: LEADER application for funding

    June 2018

    1st group meeting - quantifying the potential needs

    The group discussion centred around defining the need for a new service, what is needed, what is there currently and how do we solve it. The group is aware that there are huge issues with labour on livestock farms in the area, and much has been written about the potential impact of Brexit and the shortage of labour on dairy farms, therefore no quantitative research was carried out, as it was felt that the need had already been clearly defined.

    Also for future progression, the group questioned what format would the solution take; potential for a labour sourcing element alongside an employment agency; and potentially a training element.

    Finally, the group discussed how they should structure a new entity, how would it be funded and how would it be managed.

    It was agreed to submit an expression of interest to LEADER D&G for funding.

    Further research to be done by facilitator:
    • What’s happening in schools/apprenticeships in the area
    • What agents are working in the area who could be partners
    • Possibility of visit to a labour/training agency to understand how it works
    • Survey of farmers to gauge attitudes and really define the issue with greater grounding
    • Position of Scot Enterprise and Dumfries & Galloway Council to be sought

    Milestone: 1st group meeting

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