Those of us who love our horses, know that it is more than just a hobby, it’s a way of life. So how great would it be to be trained and paid to do what you love?
Over the last 15 – 20 years more courses have become available to those interested in learning about these fabulous creatures. After all not all of us can become vets. University courses started appearing at colleges which had previously been strictly agricultural, giving those not looking to go down the veterinary route other options.
However with tuition fees on the rise and courses demanding high entry requirements other options need to be available. Apprenticeships are a great way to gain valuable experience alongside recognised and respected qualifications.
What are the options?
Here at Keits Training Services Ltd we offer both Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeships in Horse Care. The great thing about these apprenticeships is that they can be tailored to suit your personal requirements and the business you are working for. There are different pathways to choose from, to include;
- Diploma in Work Based Horse Care at Level 2
- Diploma in Work Based Horse Care and Riding at Level 2
- Diploma in Work Based Horse Care with Breeding at Level 2
- Diploma in Work Based Horse Care and Management at Level 3
- Diploma in Work Based Horse Care and Management with Riding at Level 3
- Diploma in Work Based Horse Care and Management with Breeding at Level 3
Most learners will begin on the Level 2 programme and then progress to Level 3 when their knowledge and confidence grows, however, for the right learners the option to start at Level 3 is always available.
How does it work?
Unlike college, for which comparisons can be made, our learners are based with their business for 100% of their apprenticeship. All assessments take place at the business with the horses and equipment the learner would use on a daily basis this is ideal for those who become nervous in unfamiliar surroundings. Our learners are also entitled to the apprenticeship wage so you actually earn while you learn; another added benefit to the apprenticeship scheme.
Most college courses require their students to participate in a 2 week work experience, however, an apprenticeship gives the learner the opportunity to undertake the role full time while studying. Therefore, at the end, our learners have something worthwhile to put on their CV as relevant experience. All yard owners look for applicants with strong experience as well as formal qualifications. Therefore these apprenticeships enable our learners to ‘tick’ both boxes and it puts them in a strong position for interviews.
Every learner is based with one of our wonderful Keits businesses and is visited by their assessor every 4 weeks. They will be set work at each visit to complete which will embed knowledge in between assessor visits. Practical tasks will be trained and practiced ready for assessments which are carried out on each assessor visit.
Each qualification is split up by units, some mandatory and some optional. As the words suggest, the mandatory units are ‘must dos’ they include topics such as;
Level 2 – Mucking out, feeding, health care, restraint, health and safety, working with others and developing personal performance.
Level 3 – Maintaining feed and bedding stocks, diet plans and feeding, initial assessments of new arrivals, promote and deliver health and treatment to horses, health and safety and managing resources.
As for the optional horse care units, the learner can choose these with the support of their employer to suit their job role and the business they are working for.
So how do I find a place?
All our horse care businesses will contact us directly if they have a vacancy for a new apprentice. We list these vacancies on our website and on the direct.gov website:
We are always keen to build relationships with horse care businesses new to Keits. So for those who would like to be involved in providing apprenticeships for new or existing employees, our business development team would be happy to discuss the criteria in further detail.
Anything else I need to know?
These horse care courses are government funded and in most cases are free to the learner (age dependent). There may be a registration fee to be paid by the employer and our business development team would be happy to discuss that with you.
The entry requirements are fairly straight forward, those who have a degree are not eligible for funding so the cost of the qualification would be payable. For all others the main focus will be on the level of existing experience working with horses which will determine the qualification level to start at.
I have put this under a separate heading but below the ‘anything else I need to know?’ section because it does link in.
Functional skills are essential skills in Maths, English and ICT and are a vital part of any job role, in fact life itself. Most people are able to gain these skills whilst at school, however this is not always the case.
The government understand the importance of developing and improving these skills. Therefore any learner undertaking a vocational course whether it is through a college or apprenticeship provider must undertake functional skills if the required grades were not achieved at school. Those of us who are more practical than theoretical may think that Maths and English are a waste of time when working with horses.
Consider calculating a feed bill, measuring and calculating feed quantities, building stables and measuring sizes, writing adverts for clinics, horses for sale, writing a letter or email to a potential livery, creating a CV, the list is endless. Maths and English is vital part of everyday life and we have a duty of care to ensure all our learners leave with relevant qualifications to assist them in the future job market.
Horse care apprenticeships are great qualifications, well respected in the industry and give every learner a unique and individual learning experience. Call us today for your first step to the job of your dreams!