British Dressage announces new nationally recognised Apprenticeship Programme
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British Dressage is delighted to announce the appointment of Sport Structures as its partner to support the delivery of an employment pathway of nationally recognised qualifications for apprentices working in the sport.
The BD Apprenticeship programme will cover the learning of practical equestrian skills, as well as providing a range of qualification pathways delivered in an equestrian setting. Routes can be chosen in a range of equestrian and business areas, from leadership and digital marketing to senior equine groom.
The training will be delivered by a qualified tutor team with high quality resources, using interactive technology to capture evidence as learners progress. This will be complimented by added value experiences, such as attending sessions at high profile events, yard visits and the integration of some existing BD qualifications.
Where apprentices show a real passion or aptitude in a certain area, such as riding, coaching or events management, additional wrap around education will be provided to support their aspirations, creating a bespoke learning experience tailored to their needs.
Charlotte Osborne, Training and Education Manager for British Dressage, commented: “We believe this programme will be transformational for equestrian businesses, providing them with skilled competent staff, who have received industry experience underpinned by nationally recognised qualifications in a practical, hands-on way. The range of qualifications, from Level 2 up to Level 5, will help to provide progression in their role and develop a more defined career path. Importantly, this is a step towards addressing the issue of staff retention in the sector and ensuring a sustainable future by providing structured professional qualifications.”
A fundamental principle of the BD Apprenticeship scheme is that the programme is not just open to school leavers – it will also support those wanting to return to the industry, or employers looking for a way to develop their existing staff. Those who are interested in working with horses who have not had opportunity before will now have an accessible route into the industry. Most of the qualifications will be fully funded, with some employers receiving a grant to take on a new apprenticeship. This will broaden the reach of BD’s education programmes and allow apprentices to build their career within the sport.
Claire Moir, BD Youth Director added: “The BD Apprenticeship is unique, providing extra layers of direct BD support, linking to existing programmes and qualifications that run alongside our Academy structure, such as the horse care, coaching, and bespoke training activity. It is essentially a way to consolidate our previous activity, providing a more rounded qualification and skill set, tailored to employer’s needs. The new offering will provide an accessible, inclusive option for anyone with a passion for horses and an ambition to work in the industry. We want to support the development of our workforce to help employees get established within dressage, but also promote the wider benefits and diverse employment opportunities that the industry has to offer.”
Simon Kirkland from Sport Structures commented, “We have worked with a number of Governing Bodies, and we are delighted to develop this apprenticeship programme in partnership with British Dressage. Respecting the in-depth knowledge already available throughout the dressage community, we aim to support the growth of participation within the sport, as well as providing greater clarity to the employment pathway.”