Entry-level racing staff training programme launched

The HEROS Charity is working in alliance with Abingdon & Witney College to address the current shortage of stable staff in the horseracing industry.

The new Government-funded college-style education entry stream into the horseracing industry delivers a complement of courses at levels 1 to 3 for young people wishing to work in the racing industry.

The partnership of Abingdon & Witney College and HEROS Charity combines the expertise of an  training provider with the knowledge and expertise of a thoroughbred retraining and rehoming charity to achieve the best training and education for those wishing to work in the racing industry.

The first class facilities available both at the college and at HEROS Charity, close to Lambourn in the Valley of the Racehorse, provide a fitting training environment and base for students.

Learners will achieve transferable skills to maximise their chances of success with future training and employment opportunities.

Commenting on the benefits of the programmes Pam Wilsher, Head of Faculty Abingdon & Witney College, said:

“The new college model offers a refreshing approach for students to gain industry-specific experience alongside developing generic equestrian knowledge and riding skills. Courses will involve daily riding, yard work and theory sessions, including one-day-a-week placements with local trainers for the duration of the course.”

Shelley Perham, Recruitment and Training Co-ordinator at the NTF said:

“The NTF is pleased that the course will equip new recruits with the skills that trainers require from them. In turn, we will be supporting the project by assisting our members to offer the valuable work experience that students require.”

The programmes will include nationally recognised qualifications awarded through 1st4sport and City & Guilds, covering both generic equine and racing/thoroughbred specific elements.

To support their formal training students will gain further knowledge and experience through a series of industry activities including visits to racecourses, sales, studs and yards.

Education and Training Development Manager at HEROS Charity, Eleanor Boden, has been appointed to oversee the programmes.

Eleanor commented:

“I am very excited to be involved in this new, recognised entry route.  It is a real opportunity for people to get involved in racing if, for whatever reason, an apprenticeship doesn’t suit their circumstances. The new programmes have riding skills and horse care at their foundation ensuring that students are well equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to work in the industry.”

HEROS Racing Staff Academy Open Day is Saturday July 15.