Internship places expand

A rural internship programme available to North-east school leavers is taking on more applicants due to its continuing success.

Six candidates secured the first round of internships last year, which were run between Aberdeenshire Council, Ringlink (Scotland) Ltd and the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society Ltd (SAOS).

Five of the interns have now completed the programme, with the sixth member taking an early departure to start full time work in the agriculture industry.

After the success of the programme, 12 more internship places are now up for grabs to young people in the North-east this year.

Aimed at school leavers, the programme will help youngsters gain work experience needed to boost their employment prospects.

Successful interns will be matched with a local farm or rural business for a work experience placement which starts with a two-week induction and training programme.

The 26-week placement sees interns working under the supervision of a mentor along with further training and tuition sessions. Interns are paid in line with industry requirements, and will be expected to work a 39-hour week.

One intern who has completed the scheme is Ewan Will, aged 16, from Insch.

Ewan said: “I found the programme to be just what I was hoping for - entirely practical, learning about a range of businesses and getting training which will be really useful both now and in the future, and will stand me in good stead.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: “I am delighted that the pilot internship scheme has been such a success and that it is going to be continued and expanded to offer opportunities to more people.

People can apply now until the end of April with interviews taking place in May.

A maximum of 12 places will be given.

Email peter@ringlinkscotland.co.uk for more details.