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Pre Apprenticeship Scheme BMR



The Land-based Pre-apprenticeship is an ideal pathway for progression within the wider rural sector (including farming, horticulture, food production, forestry, game and wildlife, land-based engineering, conservation and landscaping) allowing new entrants to earn and learn in the workplace whilst also gaining a vocational qualification (SCQF4). 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.

Why work in Land-based?

Nearly 65,000 people work in Scotland’s agriculture industry and 80% of Scotland’s landmass is used for agriculture. Food and drink is one of the most important and fastest growing sectors in Scotland. This is a vital industry that is important to the food security of every nation and region. It is also a significant sector of the economy that includes a large number of small businesses.

Working in the land-based sector offers a lifestyle that is diverse and rewarding, with a range of benefits:

  • Gaining a wide range of transferable skills that will be valuable throughout your career
  • The opportunity to connect with the landscape and nature
  • Building a strong sense of community and family with those you work alongside
  • A sector where entrants can proactively help to address climate change
  • The land-based sector is so varied, it offers good job security and high rates of pay for experienced skilled workers.
  • Over the long-term (2025 to 2032), Skills Development Scotland labour data forecasts that approx. 21,000 people will be required in the sector, this is mainly due to replacement demand as half of all agricultural workers are currently aged 50 years plus.

The aims of the programme

The ultimate aim of the Land-based Pre-apprenticeship is to help prepare young people for employment in agriculture and the wider rural sector.

The programme provides practical experience, training and knowledge allowing the candidates to make informed decisions as to how they would like their career to progress.

Pre Apprenticeship Scheme BMR

Pre-Apprenticeship Format:

Upfront Induction

Working in collaboration with Borders College, the successful applicants undertake an upfront 2-week induction on a college campus; involving a range of activities and certificated training as follows:

  • Certificate of Work Readiness (CWR- SCQF level 4)
  • Health & Safety Risk Assessment
  • Emergency First Aid
  • Manual Handling Awareness
  • Tractor Driving
  • ATV (Sit Astride)
  • Workshop Skills
  • Crop Production/Livestock Production
  • Farm Visits

Training Courses

Up to £1500 of training will be offered to each candidate with an element of certified training tailored to individual needs.

Work Placement

Following the upfront induction, successful pre-apprentices commence their individual placements with an approved mentor business for 26 weeks. The work placement is fully paid, based on 40 hrs per week. Payment for time worked is in accordance with the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB).


All candidates who successfully complete the programme will receive a certificate of completion awarded from Borders Machinery Ring.

Programme Partners

Borders College: Provide the facilities for a induction. SRUC also deliver the Certificate of Work Readiness (CWR) together with additional training units and farm visits

Borders Machinery Ring: Provide the day-to-day management of the programme, recruit and support candidates along with the mentor businesses, and provide certified training for the trainees.

For any queries contact: Fiona Marwick or Michael Bayne 01896 758091 or



“We felt as a business it was important to give a keen young person a chance to gain experience in the agricultural industry and put something back into the rural sector. The Pre-Apprenticeship Scheme has been the ideal structure to allow us to do this. There is a real shortage of young people coming through and hopefully by investing in the young now, we will reap rewards in the future.”

Jamie Tweedie – RR Tweedie & Sons, Middlethird, Gordon