ABP opens agri-skills competition to Year 11

One of the leading employers in Northern Ireland’s agri-food sector, ABP, is offering pupils in Year 11/14-15 year olds the chance to take part the 2022-2023 ABP Angus Youth Challenge. The programme offers entrants the chance to win a range of valuable prizes and benefit from skills development. These include a mini-herd of Angus cross calves to rear worth c.£3,500 and a three-day study tour with ABP which this year featured a farm to fork work inspiration experience with ABP in Belgium.

The competition is aligned to learning outcomes in a range of GCSE subjects to support attainment and gives teenagers who reach the final stage direct experience and skills in beef production.  The teams that get into the year-long finalist programme are assigned a Mentor from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise to support their work on research assignments while they rear their calves. They are also given from professional training in communication, presentation and interview skills to prepare them for job interviews and the world of work.

Entry to the ABP Angus Youth Challenge is by way of a short video submission by 26th September 2022.  A selection of entrants will then be invited to take part in an exhibition event during Halloween which will be held at the Eikon Centre, Balmoral Park. An independent panel will judge the teams’ performance at the exhibition to determine who goes through to the finalist programme and wins the prizes. An overall winning team will also win £1,000 for their club or school at the end of the final stage.

Commenting on ABP’s commitment to developing young people, the Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland, George Mullan said, “ABP wishes to connect with motivated young people at an important stage of their education. We want to inspire them to work in our sector. This competition offers a range of opportunities not just for pupils interested in agriculture or who come from a farming family but for those that want to stand out from their peers and learn new skills in a practical and fun way with their team-mates and other teenagers.

Meanwhile teams from Banbridge Academy; Dalriada School Ballymoney; Cookstown High School; Friends’ School Lisburn; St Kevin’s College Lisnaskea; St Catherine’s Armagh, Newtownhamilton High School are due to complete their finalist programme in October when the award winners will be announced.

Entering and taking part in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge can now be used as part of the skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh/Joint Award.

The ABP Angus Youth Challenge is open to teams of 2-4 individuals from schools, clubs, societies or a group of friends. Entrants do not have to live on a farm or be part of a farming family to take part. ABP will assist finalists in the provision of a suitable farm.

Enter at: ABP Angus Youth Challenge. Closing date for receipt of entries is 28 September 2022.

For competition queries contact schools@certifiedirishangus.ie.