Training's back at Utass after lockdown hiatus
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
VALUABLE training provided by Utass (Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services) is back in full swing after being curtailed throughout pandemic lockdowns.
Training sessions in pesticide and herbicide spraying plus tractor driving have taken place in recent weeks with further sessions on first aid, hedgelaying and drystone walling in the pipeline.
Much of the training provided to young people is funded by a variety of sources.
Last week saw students take part in a spraying course with their independent assessments being carried a week later.
Training co-ordinator for Utass Julia Stephenson said: “Some of the pesticides trainees who successfully applied for funding from the Teesdale Action Partnership (TAP) Upskilling Employability and Discretionary Fund did their mounted spray training at Middleton Mart.
“They previously had little knowledge of the safe use of pesticides.
“They commented that the training will allow them to carry out spraying on their own land without the need to use external contractors.”
Student Holly Teward’s tuition was covered by Middleton-in-Teesdale Education Trust while other courses are sponsored through Teesdale Action Partnership’s (TAP) employability fund.
Costs of Lantra Tractor Driving courses provided by Utass are covered through the Wellesley Trust Fund.
A student who attended the 13-15 driving course said: “Thank you for giving me the amazing opportunity to take part in the under 15 Lantra tractor driving course.
“I really enjoyed my day and learnt loads of new agricultural hazards that I was not aware of before the course. I have already started to use the skills I learnt on my family farm and they have come in rather handy.”
Further training in quad bikes, car driving and pre-tractor test will be given later this month. Also in the pipeline is an outdoor paediatric first aid course on Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26.
Coming up later in the year is a two-day introduction or improvers hedgelaying course, as well as a minibus awareness course. For more information about training opportunities visit utass.org/ training-opportunities.