Support announced for women returning to jobs in agriculture24 June 2019

Image credit: Budimir Jevtic/

The Scottish government has announced that up to £5 million is to be invested in supporting women to return to work following a career break – with a particular focus on the agricultural sector.

The funding, which comes as part of the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, will support up to 2,000 women return to work in sectors, including agriculture, where they are under-represented by bringing their skills up to date and providing access to work experience placements to help manage a return to work.

In addition, three pilot training programmes developed by the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, specifically aimed at women living or working in Scottish agriculture, have been launched by Scottish equalities minister Christina McKelvie.

The three pilots are:
• Women in Agriculture Leadership Development Programme: Aiming to enable and empower more women living or working in agriculture to develop their abilities, to take up leadership positions within their communities, regions, and at board level across the industry
• Knowing your Business: Aiming to help women involved in agriculture to increase their knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to help improve business performance
• Be Your Best Self: Aiming to help women to build more confidence, explore new possibilities and opportunities, and make new connections

McKelvie says: “We know that women are key contributors to our rural economy. We also know that being a woman in agriculture can be particularly challenging, especially if you have caring responsibilities, develop your business, go to work and look after your family – often in remote or isolated areas.

“It is because we value women in the rural economy so highly, I am pleased to announce the launch of three pilot training programmes aimed at empowering women to be the best they can be – by supporting them to develop their talents, take up leadership roles, and return to work.”

Co-chair of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce Joyce Campbell adds: “It’s important for all women living and working in Scottish agriculture to access all of the Scottish government available funded opportunities, so that they can enhance their lives and get the most benefits they can for their businesses. These pilot training sessions will help to develop the next generation of women leaders within the agricultural industry, by providing them with the tools and confidence to excel.”

More information about the pilot schemes can be found here.

Adam Offord

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