ABP’s Agri-Skills competition still open to Year 11 entrants

The agri-food company ABP has opened its agri-skills development programme, the ABP Angus Youth Challenge, for new entries from 14–15-year-olds in YR 11 until 25 September.

ABP Angus Youth Challenge is delivered in partnership with Certified Irish Angus Producer Group and is aligned to learning outcomes in a range of GCSE subjects. A mini herd of five Angus cross calves worth c.£3,500 is just one element of the prize package on offer to each of four teams that reach the final stage of this competition. The finalists will also take part in a complimentary international study tour.

Teams that reach the final stage are assigned a Mentor from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) to support their work on year-long research assignments whilst rearing their calves. They are also given professional training in communication, presentation, and interview skills to help prepare them for the world of work.

Teams select a topical area of the Agri-food Industry they are passionate about and record a short application video to enter. In the video they explain why they would like to win the calves and what changes they would make to improve farming while using their mini herd of calves to do so. A selection of teams will be shortlisted and invited to take part in an exhibition event in the Eikon Centre on 27 October. An independent panel will judge the teams’ performance at the exhibition to determine who goes through to the year-long finalist programme and wins the prizes. At the end of the final stage one overall winning team will be presented with a cheque for £1,000 for their club or school.

The competition has been widely recognised in both farming and education sectors for the beneficial impact it is having on raising the aspirations of young people to work in the agri-food sector. “As a leading employer in the sector we are committed to supporting the next generation of our industry” commented George Mullan, Managing Director of ABP in Northern Ireland. “ABP Angus Youth is complimented by our enhanced support of students in third level education which now also includes an international scholarship opportunity with ABP for students of CAFRE Greenmount’s Sustainable Agriculture degree.”

Entering and taking part in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge is an accredited part of the skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh/Joint Award. Visit www.abpangusyouthchallenge.com