Riding school hoping to put learners in harness

YOUNG people who like horses and don't mind hard work and bad weather are being sought to become apprentices at an equestrian centre.

Peter Quigley of Holmside Equestrian Centre with Lucy Marshall from NEAC

YOUNG people who like horses and don’t mind hard work and bad weather are being sought to become apprentices at an equestrian centre.

Holmside Equestrian Centre, in Burnhope, County Durham, is searching for two apprentices with a love of all things equine to take up training places and work towards achieving an NVQ Level 2 in horse care.

The successful applicants will work full-time at the yard and attend college on a day-release basis.

Yard owner Peter Quigley said: “This isn’t a job for the faint-hearted. It’s cold and involves working outside in all weathers. They’ve got to really want this for a career.

“The candidates need to be hardy characters. They will be mucking out, turning out and bringing in livery horses from grazing, assisting the farrier, dentist or vet and learning all aspects of care and grooming.

“But there will be a great return for their efforts. As well as a good wage, they will get two years’ training ... a solid grounding from us in all aspects of caring for horses.

“They will be given the means to progress in the industry. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the right person.”

The British Horse Society-approved centre is run by Quigley and his daughter Danielle from a farm located near Craghead and Chester-le-Street, and provides a full range of services for horses and riders, from livery and grooming to riding lessons and laundry services.

The apprenticeships are the 50th to be filled by the North East Apprenticeship Company (NEAC) since it began to back The Journal’s campaign to fill 500 apprenticeships in 100 days.

Almost 150 companies have signed up with the company since it was launched a year ago and more than 400 potential apprentices have registered for placements.

The company works by charging the employers 15% of salary to recruit and employ the apprentices on their behalf, removing the barriers to employment and making the recruitment process easier.

The Journal is heading up the 500 Apprentices in 100 Days campaign in association with the National Apprenticeship Service, supported by the North East Chamber of Commerce.

The campaign, which began on January 20 and ends on April 29, has broken its previous target of helping to create 100 apprentices in 100 days, with the total now standing at over 268.

NEAC’s managing director Paul Champion said: “We are pleased to be working with Holmside as this opportunity reflects the interesting and diverse range of apprenticeships open to young people these days. We now have more apprentices than ever signed up. It means we have an even bigger talent pool to draw on to find employers the right apprentice with the right skills for their workforce.”

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