21st June 2013

QMS Launches Meaty Careers

Six Aberdeenshire youngsters today (21st June) joined Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) at the Royal Highland Show to help launch a new “Meaty Careers” booklet.

The booklet is aimed at increasing awareness among young people, of the wide range of career options available in the Scottish red meat industry.

“The Scottish red meat industry contributes more than £2 billion to Scotland’s economy and supports around 50,000 jobs,” said Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS.

“Scotland produces world-renowned brands – Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork - but the future of these fantastic products depends on the skills, enthusiasm and commitment of those who work in our industry.”

Today’s launch was supported by six young people who are taking part in a pilot rural internship programme run by three partners – Ringlink Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and SAOS.

The six young people, aged 15 – 17, come from schools throughout Aberdeenshire and have just completed two weeks of induction, including a three day tractor driving course, prior to starting full-time work on farms in the north-east on Monday.

“Each intern has been assigned a mentor on the farms which are a mixture of unit types stretching from Fettercairn to Turriff,” said Peter Wood, Ringlink Scotland training manager.

“This sort of initiative needs the support of farmers and the wider industry and recognition that every part of the production chain will be affected if we don’t have enough young people interested in working in our industry,” said Mr Wood.

Stephen Young, Project Manager, SAOS, said the initiative should also help to encourage farmers, who might otherwise have been uncertain about taking on a member of staff, to consider recruiting a young person.

“Some farmers can be apprehensive about the paperwork and health and safety aspects of taking on an employee and this initiative is also helping to address those concerns,” said Mr Young.

The new “Meaty Careers” booklet covers a range of career opportunities from farming and animal health to butchery and processing. It is available on request from Quality Meat Scotland by emailing info@qmscotland.co.uk and can also be  downloaded at www.qmscotland.co.uk

Caption: Pictured from left, Stephen Young (SAOS) with interns, Lewis Duncan, Calum Richard, David Dalgatty, Ewan Will, David Petrie and Andrew Clark with QMS Technical Projects Manager Ian MacDougall at the launch of Meaty Careers

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